words that irritate- ‘I don’t do..’
October 14, 2006
As when General Sir Richard Dannatt proclaims that “We don’t do surrender”. According to my dictionary, this use of ‘do’, which can cover a whole range of meanings including ‘believe in’, have something to do with’, ‘like’ originated from ‘I don’t do drugs.’ Now you can put almost any part of speech after ‘do’- “If you do do drink, don’t do drunk” is an example. So some people don’t do mornings or birthdays, Terrorists Don’t Do Movie Plots, Jessica Alba doesn’t do nudity, President Bush doesn’t do nuance (or nudity, one hopes), US General Tommy Franks doesn’t do body counts and Tony Blair complains that the media “don’t do balance.” The most ridiculous example came from a friend of mine, who, when invited to pick up his recently arrived grandchild, said ‘I don’t do babies’. I don’t know why it irritates me , probably just because it’s new and I’m not used to it. Be that as it may, for the time being I don’t do ‘I don’t do’.