Although I don't really have evidence for this, it seems to me that the phrase "go ahead and head on over to [...]" prevails more and more over simply "go to [...]". This phenomenon is particularly noticeable on the Internet; not only in articles, blogs, etc. but also in videos and podcasts. The phrase returns close to 1.8 million hits on Google at the time of writing this question.


Go ahead and head on over to my website, for more details.

Am I right in thinking that "Go ahead and head on over to..." is becoming more and more common?

Is some nuance of "Go ahead and head on over to" lost on me?

  • Why the downvote(s)? How is my question any worse than english.stackexchange.com/questions/48576/…? – jub0bs Apr 23 '13 at 14:26
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    I would guess (since the downvote is not mine) that this comes over as more of a rant/peeve than the other question. – Andrew Leach Apr 23 '13 at 14:28
  • If the rant is not important, don't put it in your question. Questions are better when there is no rant in them. – Matt E. Эллен Apr 25 '13 at 14:58
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    Please show your research in the question. Especially, you say this phrase seems to be gaining traction; please share the evidence that led you to think this. Thanks. – MetaEd Apr 26 '13 at 3:38
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    While perhaps this question could be formulated better, the evidence can be found in many video tutorials, particularly prevalent in developer tutorials. I think Americans can be quite guilty of excessive 'go ahead and'. Dan Whalin's tutorial on Pluralsight contains 49 "go ahead"s, for example: app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/…. – Chris Paton Feb 18 at 13:28

I think this is a case of people not wanting to be seen as commanding or overbearing by using an imperative, such as "Go to my website..." They want it to sound folksy and more like they are issuing an invitation or presenting a choice. And of course, the more frequently we hear something like "Go ahead and head on over to...", the less odd it sounds to our ear.

See this Steven Pinker animation about "Language as a Window into Human Nature." I think the "Go ahead and head on over to..." phrase is an example of the imperative getting through "without the presumption of dominance that would ordinarily accompany the imperative." (This is discussed at about 3:30 on the video.)

  • Thanks for your answer. So, you interpret it as a form of euphemism... – jub0bs Apr 23 '13 at 15:59
  • Or, as Steven Pinker says, a form of social politeness or a somewhat indirect speech act. – JLG Apr 23 '13 at 16:03

protected by tchrist Jul 20 '14 at 20:10

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