We often say “without further ado”. Why does it sound weird to say “with further ado” to mean the opposite?



Is there also a reason that can be explained by linguistics?

In: Other

We use “much” when in a positive meaning. Like the famous play Much ado about nothing by Shakespeare

It would be odd to use it in the same way, as “ado” is generally pejorative, implying unnecessary fuss and waffling. Describing your imminent speech as “further ado” isn’t a good way to make it seem worth listening to.

In linguistics this is called a “collocation” I think — the term for groupings of words in certain contexts that are ‘normal’ by habit.

In the example you’ve chosen it’s pretty hard to imagine somebody promising to do something, or that something be done, “with further ado”… I kinda feel like ” to-do” might be more common in the positive than “ado” but you’d need to do a corpus linguistics study to find out and I ain’t got the skills.

But basically the right combinations ‘feel right’ because they’re used more often.

You can probably spot collocations yourself — does “assumption” go better with “do” or “make”? Does investment go better with “sound” or “firm”? And so on!

Collocations are a hurdle for learners of other languages — they are a kind idiomatic clusterings which grammar rules do not hint at.

“Ado” means agitation or fuss. It generally has negative connotations. So “without further ado” means “without any more fuss” i.e. “let’s get on to the main event.”

If you were to be saying/doing something else first, you’d be more likely to say something like “But before we get to that…” In this way, you’re acknowledging that the main thing is yet to come, but you’re not discrediting or downplaying what you’re about to say/do.

Language doesn’t always communicate with words. The opposite of “without further ado,” which needs to be said aloud to draw attention the absence of any “ado,” is to simply conduct the “ado,” the actions of which _are_ the announcement of the doing of the adoing.


* “Without further ado” is a shorthand way of saying “I could go on and on introducing this person but I won’t make you all sit through that.”
* Ask yourself, is there ever a time when you need to tell an audience the opposite?
* “Just wanted to let you know that I’m about to continue to say introductory things about this person.”
* The answer is likely no since it will be obvious when you just…keep talking.