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    #1

    go to town

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    The engineers really went to town in those plans.

    go to town = take prompt action

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: go to town

    No. "Go to town" means to do something very completely, with lots of energy, often without regard to how much money is spent.

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    #3

    Re: go to town

    Hi Quish,

    Thank you for your modification of my interpretation of the expression in question.

    For the sake of information I should tell you that I saw on my interpretation of the key expression in my original post above as an initial step towards the final aim – achieving of howling success.

    go to town = take on = to achieve a success by taking prompt and drastic action = work tooth and nail = put one’s heart into one’s work

    “if you want to get anywhere you has to go to town”

    “if you want to be making of you has to go to town”

    Our team is going to town this year. We have won all five games that we played.

    V.

  2. Tullia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: go to town

    I would be a little careful, vil. "Going to town" does not automatically have the positive connotation of being successful at something that you seem to be assigning to it.

    An example:

    "She's really gone to town on those Christmas decorations."

    This could imply that the person has put up a great many decorations, on every surface, possibly in lots of colours, or in over-ornate styles, and that the result is gaudy or fussy, and not in good taste.

    Only context (or in spoken English, tone of voice/facial expressions too) will tell you whether "going to town" is considered a good or bad thing in the situation.


    “if you want to get anywhere you has have to go to town”
    ^ have not has

    “if you want to be making of you has to go to town”
    ^ this makes no sense to me at all

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    #5

    There is another, a negative connotation of the expression “go to town”

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

    …he doesn’t have much time to describe the murder, but when it comes to describing the guy’s wife he really goes to town.

    You should have heard what I told the son of a beach. I went to town.

    go to town = show lack of self-control/restraint; allow someone freedom/ a free hand; wear one’s heart of one’s sleeve; be lost in, become presumptuous

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

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    #6

    Re: There is another, a negative connotation of the expression “go to town”

    I agree, Vil. I've heard it used to describe a fight, a beating, etc.

    When the bell rang, Boxer A went to town on Boxer B...

  3. apbl's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: There is another, a negative connotation of the expression “go to town”

    I think the expression lends itself to both positive and negative interpretation and that it is therefore the context that plays a vital role in understanding the author or speaker's intention.

    • Once Jane had arranged for everybody to have tea in her garden she really went to town with the preparations.

  4. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: go to town

    Yes, "going to town" can be used to describe taking extreme measures in any situation, whether positive or negative. Some examples:

    "Mary really went to town for her wedding ceremony. She had 12 bridesmaids, as well as a string quartet and boys' choir in the church. And she and her groom left the church in a stretch Hummer!"

    "When Fred passed out drunk at the party, we really went to town. We scribbled messages all over his face and body with Sharpies and plastered his face with eye shadow and lipstick."

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