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The usage you put the verb (in its infinitive form) right after "go" is used in AmE but not in BrE, as I heard. For example,

Go shut the door.

However, I doubt this is true and want to know the truth.

I know it may very well depend on the speaker's age/gender etc. and am not expecting one-or-the-other answers. This question is for more of a statistics purpose. Do you think the statement above is true (based on your usage)?

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Go shut the door, is colloquial slang. It should be Go (leave) and shut the door (...after you as you leave). –  spiceyokooko Jan 15 '13 at 23:58
    
@spiceyokooko "Colloquial slang" really does not seem to fit here. –  tchrist Jan 16 '13 at 0:07
    
@tchrist I do hope we're not going to have yet another of those very tedious Brit v American English discussions again. –  spiceyokooko Jan 16 '13 at 0:09
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@spiceyokooko Only if you badmouth how people speak naturally. Go ask anybody you like. I have never in my life heard anybody badmouthed for using that infinitely common and normal phrasing, and I hope not to do so now. –  tchrist Jan 16 '13 at 0:12
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@tchrist It's not infinitely common; nor is it normal in BrE. I believe Sindry's general proposition to be supportable. –  Andrew Leach Jan 16 '13 at 0:20
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

"Go shut the door" was fully recognisable to me (an Irish-English speaker) and didn't strike me as unusual or sounding particularly American, British, un-American or un-British.

So from experience, I would say it's not peculiar to either.

Of course, 1 is not a statistically valid sample. Since it's a rare enough expression in full though, I decided to look at "Go find out" vs "Go and find out", as it should be more common, especially in non-fiction cases.

A corpus search finds the fuller form ("Go and...") to have been more common in both British and American English, the shorter form to be found in both. In the last couple of decades the shorter form has become more popular in British English but remains in the minority, and so much more popular in American English as to rival the fuller form.

Of course, the corpus only examines written English, and I would suspect that the shorter form's popularity would be greater in spoken English than written. If this was the case then the difference in en-GB* and en-US might be not so much that Americans use it more than Britons, than that Britons are more likely to consider it too informal for at least some written use - it's impossible to say.

*Incidentally, what is with google using "eng_us" and "eng_gb", as if we didn't have an agreed-upon system favouring ISO 639-1 over ISO 639-2 on the web for the last 17 years?

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There will always be over-zealous pedants, but there's certainly no grammatical rule to say that "and" should be included in such constructions.

However, I think there's some justification for OP's perception that (particularly in recent decades) Americans are more likely not to include it. Compare this (US corpus) chart from Google Books...

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...with the UK version

enter image description here

It seems to me those charts suggest usage was broadly similar until about 1930-1940, after which it became increasingly common for US speakers to omit "and". Purely my own opinion, but I think black Americans were always very much less likely to use "and" here. There was never anything identifiably "wrong" in this; the cultural admixture occasioned by WW2 (and movies with speech) simply caused the habit to spread through the general population more.

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You may be right that there is some class or race or education taint associated with "go and do something", just as with "try and do something". We were taught not to say it. –  tchrist Jan 16 '13 at 2:31
    
@tchrist but if you were taught not to say it, then there must have been some of you saying it... We were taught not to pronounce "window" the same as "windy", because that was common in the local dialect, but nobody bothered to teach us not to pronounce it the same as "chrysanthemum blossom"! –  Jon Hanna Jan 16 '13 at 3:10
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@tchrist: As a child, I was always told to say "Try to do something". Complete and utter bollocks, of course, as became clear to me when I became a man, and thus master of my own language. But check out this one on US/UK corpuses for a pretty strong indicator of a difference. The once-disparaged form has actually become dominant in the US in recent decades, but Brits are still sticking with the pedants (in writing, at least). –  FumbleFingers Jan 16 '13 at 4:09
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