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Thread: "Going a Noun"

  1. #1
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    Question "Going a Noun"

    I'm a native speaker of English currently living in Vienna, Austria. I wanted to ask whether phrases such as "Vienna Goes Tennis" (currently on posters all over Vienna) are bad English.

    I've seen this type of phrase becoming increasingly popular in Europe, and it just sounds plain wrong to me. I believe what the advertisers are trying to say is "Vienna is going tennis-crazy". Before I start raising awareness about this topic, I want to make sure "going a noun" like that is bad grammar, and if there's a technical term for this kind of error.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Going a Noun"

    It's not the sort of phrase you would hear over here (USA). If they should somehow become a site for the NCAA basketball tournament they might say something like "Charlotte goes basketball crazy", but they wouldn't say "Charlotte goes basketball". They speak German in Vienna. why would they have their posters in English?


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    Cool Re: "Going a Noun"

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    They speak German in Vienna. why would they have their posters in English?

    Because English is such a "hip" language. I'd wager a guess a good 20% of the posters here are at least in part in English, if not more!

    Thanks for the confirmation of my suspicion!

    You can see the tennis poster here: http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=2539402

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    Default Re: "Going a Noun"

    It's a rather humorous phrase to an American, but I get the point.

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: "Going a Noun"

    I would take this as an extension of the usage where "go" = "become" or "turn to", and is followed by an adjectival subject complement, e.g.

    1. He went bankrupt.
    2. He's going wild.
    3. It's gone bad.
    4. She went ballistic.

    The usage with a noun is less common, but here are a few from Google:

    5. She's gone supernova!
    6. He's gone country.
    7. Paris goes Pop.
    8. Shakira goes 70s Disco.

    #5 is not quite the same meaning; but #6 to #8 seem to me to have the sense of "take up in an enthusiastic way" of the original sentence ("Vienna goes Tennis").

    All the best,

    MrP

  6. #6
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: "Going a Noun"

    I agree with Mr P. A strange collocation [read "new collocation"] is not the same thing as an ungrammatical collocation, which it isn't. English often gets these new vocabulary twists. I dont see any harm in it at all.

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    Unhappy Re: "Going a Noun"

    It seems very ugly to me, at the very least. Since this event is in the future, I would use "Vienna is going tennis-crazy" instead. It reminds me of what I hear people saying on the streets here: "Let's go (name of bar)!" In other words, leaving out the "to".

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