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From:    caeruleancentaur <[log in to unmask]>
>"Ph.D." <phil@P...> wrote:
> > Another example is "I will try and attend the meeting." Here, "and" 
> > doesn't quite make sense. The expected word would be "to."  (To me, 
> > the use of "and" implies "I will try the meeting and I will attend 
> > the meeting.")
> 
> To me, this is just an example of poor English; there's nothing 
> idiomatic about it. "Try" and "attend" are not equivalent terms to 
> be joined by a co-ordinating conjunction.

The problem is that English, as a language, is filled with all sorts
of examples of such "poor English".  For example, the normal way 
to say that one is having difficulty in finding one's keys, for
every English speaker I've ever met, is "I can't seem to find my 
keys", but that literally suggests that one is not able to appear 
to find one's keys, rather than one seems not to be able to find
one's keys.  And such logical mismatches are even more deeply 
embedded, since a sentence like "Every man saw three dogs" has
(for the vast majority of English speakers) precisely two readings:
one where there is a set of three specific dogs which every man 
saw, and one where for every man, he saw three dogs, but not 
necessarily the same three dogs across the set of every man. So,
there's no use in complaining about mismatches in language; every
language has them.  

Anyways, I would consider the "try and X" construction to be idiomatic.
Idioms are any construction whose properties cannot be predicted based
on the larger properties that are observed in other constructions.


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Thomas Wier	       "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics    because our secret police don't get it right 
University of Chicago   half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 
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Chicago, IL 60637