try and understand me …
I want to praise a book—A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H.W. Fowler—but I cannot at this moment find the right words to do justice to the object of my admiration.
Instead, I’ll give an example of what I admire (which incidentally confirms and elucidates one of my long and vehemently held beliefs):
try. The idiom t. and do something is described as colloquial for t. to do. It’s use is probably commonest in exhortations and promises: Do t. and stop coughing; I will t. and have it ready for you. And it is hardly applicable to past time or to negative sentences, He tried and made the best of it is not English in the sense required, nor is It is no use to t. and make the best of it; but He did t. and make the best of it will pass, especially if the did is emphatic. It is, therefore, colloquial, if that means specially appropriate to actual speech; but not if colloquial means below the proper standard of literary dignity. Though t. to do can always be substituted for t. and do, the latter has a shade of meaning that justifies its existence; in exhortations it implies encouragement—the effort will succeed—; in promises it implies assurance—the effort shall succeed. It is an idiom that should not be discountenanced, but used when it comes natural.”
I would actually argue that It is no use to t. and make the best of it does work as a kind of indirect discourse where the to t. and make the best of it is the, possibly ironic, presentation of a point of view held by another as held by another. However, I think you can see why this kind of description of usage is helpful, illuminating, delightful, and expresses a true friendship with the language.
That A Dictionary of Modern English Usage is described by the author as “the last fruit of the partnership [with his late brother] that began 1903 with our translation of Lucian” suggests further that it is not just the record of a friendship with language, but also a disclosure of the true and noble human friendship which exists in language.