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Go American!?

 
 
Hiroshi
 
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2021 02:51 am
Hi. I have a question on English grammar. My dictionaries say that it's not good to use the expression 'go Dutch.' They say it's kind of making fun of the Dutch. Is it true? If so, how about the expression 'go American'? Like when we say 'He's gone American,' does it sound ridiculing Americans? If so, how about the expression 'go Republican'? Is it teasing Republicans? I'm not meaning any ridicule. I'm just asking a question on some English idioms. Thanks in advance!
 
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2021 03:27 am
@Hiroshi,
Hiroshi wrote:

Hi. I have a question on English grammar. My dictionaries say that it's not good to use the expression 'go Dutch.' They say it's kind of making fun of the Dutch. Is it true? If so, how about the expression 'go American'? Like when we say 'He's gone American,' does it sound ridiculing Americans? If so, how about the expression 'go Republican'? Is it teasing Republicans? I'm not meaning any ridicule. I'm just asking a question on some English idioms. Thanks in advance!


Not sure of what dictionary you are using, but the American idiom, "go dutch" (often not capitalized) has to do with people (mostly two , but at times several) doing something together for which there is a cost...and having the cost be split between the parties rather than being assumed by just one. "Going dutch" usually means the costs will be split on a use basis with each person paying his/her fair share. If the event is a dinner and one person orders a steak and the other just a cup of coffee, each would pay proportional to what he/she ordered.

It certainly is not meant to be an insult to anyone...just a way of establishing that paying for the activity will be split.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sat 31 Jul, 2021 03:32 am
@Hiroshi,
"Go Dutch" and other terms involving "Dutch" have a long history, dating I believe, back to the time when Britain and the Netherlands were great economic competitors. So using it employs an established meaning. Yes, you can do it with other identities, like "going American" or "going Republican" – but they don't have the historical association. People will know you're being teasingly critical, but they might not fully grasp what you are trying to convey; they may be useful in conversation, but not so much in writing, unless the context is clear.
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 07:04 am
@Frank Apisa,
Thank you Frank Apisa!
So I can use the expression like "Let's go dutch!" without hesitation Smile
It'll be good when I'm almost broke Wink
0 Replies
 
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 07:20 am
@hightor,
Thank you, hightor!

I took your words as the following:
"Going Dutch/American/Republican" can sometimes be neutral, without any intention of criticism, because the words Dutch/American/Republican in themselves do not have any negative meanings.

I hope I'm not going on the wrong track.

On the other hand, I think we can say that "going mad/crazy/insane" always, or often at least, refers to something very negative, because the words mad/crazy/insane are just negative.

Both of the expressions are "go + adjective," but the former can be either
negative or not negative, while the latter goes almost always negative. This may be due to the fact that the types of adjectives employed in both sentences differ, though I'm not so sure. Help me, linguists!

Anyway, thanks a lot!
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 07:27 am
Going Dutch has a specific meaning to do with splitting bills it doesn’t say anything about the Dutch themselves.

It is perfectly acceptable.

I don’t know what Going American would mean, other than behaving like an American, which is most likely derogatory in that someone described as such would most likely be turning their backs on their own cultural traditions.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 07:57 am
There's also "Dutch courage" meaning you need to have a couple of stiff drinks in order carry out your plans (say, asking someone out, quitting your job).
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 09:32 am
I should have looked this up before posting. There are a lot of terms using "Dutch" in an insulting way that did derive from the British/Dutch rivalry I mentioned but, apparently, "going Dutch" is not one of them:

Quote:
Q From Robert Legleitner, Kentucky: Recently on a writing forum I visit, quite a discussion erupted about the term Dutch as in Dutch treat and Dutch uncle. Some writers, fearing criticism and acutely conscious of political correctness, were afraid to use them as being pejorative. Where do we get these terms?

A Dutch readers should perhaps look away ...

In the seventeenth century, the Dutch and British were enemies. Both wanted maritime superiority for economic reasons, especially control of the sea routes from the rich spice islands of the East Indies. The two countries fought three wars at sea between the years 1652 and 1674. At the lowest point of the struggle, in May 1667, the Dutch sailed up the Medway, sank a lot of ships, and blockaded the Thames. The Dutch were powerful, they were the enemy, they were the bad guys, and their name was taken in vain at every opportunity.

The stereotype of the Dutchman among the English at this period was somebody stolid, miserly, and bad-tempered, and these associations, especially the stinginess, were linked to several phrases. Only a small number of them are actually recorded in print from the time of the Dutch wars, most being of eighteenth century provenance or later. But there’s nothing so long-lasting as traditional enmity; later phrases borrowed the ideas from earlier ones, and in any case many are certainly older than their date of first recording.

Examples from the time of the Dutch wars include Dutch reckoning, a bill that is presented without any details, and which only gets bigger if you question it, and a Dutch widow, a prostitute. In the same spirit, but recorded later, are Dutch courage, temporary bravery induced by alcohol; Dutch metal, an alloy of copper and zinc used as a substitute for gold foil; Dutch comfort or Dutch consolation, in which somebody might say “thank God it is no worse!”; Dutch concert, in which each musician plays a different tune; and Dutch uncle, someone who criticises or rebukes you with the frankness of a relative.

However, a Dutch auction is strictly not a member of this set, since it refers to a real practice, still used today for example in the Netherlands to sell flowers and other produce. Instead of starting low and going higher, the auction starts with a high price and reduces it. The first dealer to bid gets the lot at the current price. And going Dutch, one in which those invited pay for themselves, appeared in the US only in the late nineteenth century and has a different origin.

But otherwise, you get the idea. Yes, they are pejorative. Using them requires thoughtful consideration of the offence that might possibly be given. However, some are now so embedded in the language that direct associations with the Dutch or the Netherlands have largely been lost — Dutch uncle, for example.

source

Quote:
(...)

Going Dutch — to which we can add Dutch lunch, Dutch treat, Dutch party and Dutch supper, all with closely similar meanings — are American creations from the nineteenth century. The oldest of these in the record is Dutch treat:

If our temperance friends could institute what is called the “Dutch treat” into our saloons, each man paying his reckoning, it would be a long step towards reforming in drinking to excess.

Daily Democrat (Sedalia, Missouri), 27 Jun. 1873. A “no treating” rule of this kind was in fact introduced into British pubs by law during the First World War for exactly this purpose.

Confusingly for the etymological researcher, before Dutch lunch and Dutch supper took on their idiomatic meanings they were used in the literal sense of a meal that reflected a particular culture. The evidence shows they were more correctly German, a common error of the time, as in Pennsylvania Dutch. For example, a newspaper report in 1894 mentions that for a Dutch supper to be successful everything must be “consistently expressive of [the] vaterland” and mentions rye bread, cabbage salad, Wienerwursts and beer as being on offer.

This is the first idiomatic example of Dutch lunch I can find:

Perhaps you have a fatter pocketbook than some of the other fellows. I, for instance, can’t afford to buy two tickets every time I go. So some of the boys and I go on the “Dutch lunch” plan: everybody for himself.

Fort Wayne Morning Journal, 24 Oct. 1897.

The evidence makes clear that going Dutch and its synonyms are too recent and from the wrong continent to be linked with the ancient enmity between the English and the Dutch.

source
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 10:45 am
A "Dutch wife" is a type of pillow.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 10:51 am
@Hiroshi,
Even when the "go + adjective" isn't strictly negative, there does often seem to be slightly condescending tone in its use. You might see a gentleman from the north in a southern clime, wearing shorts and sandals, and remark, "Oh, are you trying to go native?"
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Aug, 2021 12:38 pm
"Going Dutch" brings to mind a dutch door, what with its two parts, lower and upper, independently openable and closeable.
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2021 09:41 pm
@hightor,
Hello, hightor. Thank you for your kind reply.

OALD says 'go + adjective' means 'to live or move around in a particular state,' like 'go naked/barefoot/hungry.' It shows an example like, 'She cannot bear the thought of children going hungry.' In this sentence I think 'go' means 'live' and not 'move around' because it's not natural hungry children move around. And it seems 'go' you mentioned in 'go native' can have the same meaning as 'live.'

And I'm not sure why the verb 'go' can mean 'live' because 'going' doesn't sound like 'living.' I thought 'go' is a dynamic verb, and 'live' stative. In the sentence below, do the native speakers of English feel doctors moving around?

He is a doctor, as doctors go these days.

Sorry if I'm off the point. I've got little chance to speak or hear English in my everyday life...
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2021 03:46 am
@Hiroshi,
Quote:
In the sentence below, do the native speakers of English feel doctors moving around?

No, there's no movement implied in that particular usage of the verb go. An English speaker would understand this sentence, "It's a pretty good map as far as maps go," to mean that maps in general have qualities and the particular map in question is acceptable.
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2021 06:53 am
@hightor,
Thanks you, hightor.
So it's very strange to me that the verb "go" doesn't mean any motion. There are some that are used in that way, though.
0 Replies
 
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2021 06:54 am
@Mame,
Thank you, Mame.
Maybe I need "Dutch courage" to quit my job now....
0 Replies
 
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2021 07:03 am
@izzythepush,
Thank you, izzythepush.
So I can use the expression before Dutch people. And it's interesting to know that "go American" sounds derogatory.
0 Replies
 
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2021 07:08 am
@InfraBlue,
Oh that's funny. Hope I'll see the door someday!
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2021 07:09 am
@hightor,
You make it sound like we stayed enemies for a long time. We didn’t.

The main reason for the Dutch success was the stock market. When the Dutch wanted money they issued shares which would pay a premium.

Investing in the Dutch was a sound investment, compared to say lending money to Louis XVI who was in the habit of “forgiving,” his debts. In other words writing them off and telling his creditors to go whistle.

William of Orange was invited by the English parliament to become king after James II said his son would be raised Catholic.

It’s known as the Glorious Revolution, where William became king without a shot being fired, although things did get a bit heated with the Jacobites later on.

William Of Orange brought the stock market to England, and as England is a bigger economy it was more successful.

After that we didn’t have much problem with the Dutch, we were both fighting the French.
0 Replies
 
Hiroshi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2021 07:11 am
@hightor,
Thank you, hightor.

Your reply is very instructive. It helps me understand the way "go" can be used from a historical viewpoint.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2021 02:14 pm
In this usage, “go” means “act like “ or “take on the characteristics of”
You can use other verb tenses, too, to express this.

She goes all Karen about the food.

He went Ninja on him.






0 Replies
 
 

 
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