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Thread: to have going

  1. kilroy65's Avatar
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    #1

    to have going

    Business as usual isn't the model for us to have going. (quoted from washingtonpost.com)

    So don't tell me about your success
    Nor your recipes for my happiness
    Smoke in bed, I never could digest
    The illusions you claim to have going.
    (Rich Folks Hoax, written and performed by Sixto Rodriguez)

    We do hear the expressions "to have something going", as in I've got a few things going at the moment. (e.g. business or other prospects taking shape), and "to get something going": It was freezing this morning but I was able to get the car going. However, I don't understand the phrase in bold. I really don't see it as a set phrase, which is why I haven't been able to find it in dictionaries.

  2. J&K Tutoring
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    #2

    Re: to have going

    Your understanding of 'to have something going' is correct, and probably the quote from washingtonpost.com is related to that. It would need some further context to be certain. You shouldn't expect song lyrics to be an example of correct usage, although this one seems pretty close.

  3. kilroy65's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: to have going

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    You shouldn't expect song lyrics to be an example of correct usage
    I couldn't agree more. I'm trying to make sure my students are well aware of that.

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #4

    Re: to have going

    Quote Originally Posted by kilroy65 View Post
    I really don't see it as a set phrase, which is why I haven't been able to find it in dictionaries.
    I don't see it as one either.

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: to have going

    The song lyrics use the phrase in the same sense as the Post quote. The illusions you have going are the illusions you have occurring or happening in your head.

    That meaning is also close to going on: What's going on at your house?

    The meaning of getting a car going is more literal. The car might not be in motion, but it's now able to go. I turned the key to get the car going. We use the word running in similar way: It cost me $500 in new parts to get the car running.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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