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Well, to begin with, I don't even know what is the usual meaning of "go-around". So, if you know, please, explain it to me.

But in this case this noun ("go-around") seems even to be used in a slightly different sense. One user whose name is Chrisnfolsom, while answering my question on the proper way how to describe a woman that isn't able to conceive a baby said in his answer these words:

The joke was not meant to provide answers, but a funny lesson on the complexity of the English language - not that other languages aren't complex. Many lessons are best illustrated through humor - although the underlying lessons of that message can be missed entirely. Thanks for the go-around here; I was able to give my daughter a lesson in the fun and folly of language.

I don't know what he meant here by "go-around" (italics and bold type in the quote are mine). Of course, I could have asked him there this question, but since I don't even know the primary meaning of that word, I think it would be proper to make it as a separate question and not spend his time.

Special request for Chrisnfolsom: If you happen to see this question, please, explain to me what you meant by "go-around" there - no one else knows better than you what you were saying.

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Why don't you go ask him in a comment to his answer? He should see that. –  Robusto Jan 29 '11 at 2:23
    
@Robusto: Thanks for the suggestion. I did it just now. –  brilliant Jan 29 '11 at 3:15
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In aviation (not this context) a go-around refers to aborting a landing attempt to make another try. –  Mark Maxham Jan 29 '11 at 7:17
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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In this context :

The joke was not meant to provide answers, but a funny lesson on the complexity of the English language - not that other languages aren't complex. Many lessons are best illustrated through humor - although the underlying lessons of that message can be missed entirely. Thanks for the go-around here; I was able to give my daughter a lesson in the fun and folly of language.

Go-around is a localized colloquialism, which in this case is referring to the exercise of discussing the topic. However, in a broader sense it means to engage in any personal interaction, or perhaps non-personal in some special circumstances.

It may be acceptable to refer to a squabble or argument as a go-around as much as the process of collaboratively solving a problem.

In the non-personal context, go-around could refer to a difficulty using a computer or some other machine, for example...

I had a proper go-around with this modem, but I still can't get connected at all.

In essence, the person is saying they had to go around the problem a few times before solving or giving up on it.

Hopefully Chrisnfolsom will be able to shine some direct light on the meaning.

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A go-around is an excuse, usually to avoid something, or an argument

In this case however, I think what Chrisnfolsom meant was an excuse/opportunity to teach his daughter about the "fun and folly of language".

(It was a great joke, by the way)

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I think it's pretty certain from context the original writer meant 'extensive discussion', not 'excuse'. Maybe you're thinking of 'work-around' - not exactly an excuse, but it is normally a way of avoiding the effort of implementing a full and proper solution. –  FumbleFingers May 8 '11 at 15:57
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Given the go-around does indeed derive from aviation where the aircraft is sent away from the airfield on a circuit, normally because the field is too busy to take them, too many planes on taxiway, or some emergency or other.

It is mostly used as meaning "passed from pillar to post" or fobbed off. An example would be where you phone a company, then are told you need to speak to accounts, the accounts dept say they can't help its customer service, customer service say its technical dept and then you are told that only accounts can help you. Its the circularity of the action that's the feature.

Chrisnfolsom's usage was I think non-standard but I guess he is alluding to the idea that in answering a question about language usage being complex on a forum, the ensuing discussion gave him further material to illustrate just how confusing and complex it can be.

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In your example, where I'm from that is called getting the run-around not a go-around. –  MVCylon Jan 31 '11 at 21:45
    
We say run-around in UK too. I don't think I've ever heard go-around used that way, but I think I'd always understand it in context. The key point is OP's usage is more akin to kicking an idea around, which might yield potential items of interest. It's not about the pointless circular 'non-assistance' you get from being given the run-around. –  FumbleFingers May 8 '11 at 16:06
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It seems quite clear to me that in the context, he means what would be almost the literal meaning of the phrase, "going around", i.e. "taking a tour" or "going on an excursion", in this case the excursion being the interesting and nostalgic thoughts and memories conjured by the discussion that resulted. "We'll be right back. I'm going to give him a go-around of the place before dinner."

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