This past month several students came up with new projects and sent me their rough drafts – an article, video project, and audio recording — to edit for clarity, brevity, and natural language.
Keep in mind that Soho Language Group provides not only English classes for non-native speakers, but also full-service English language consulting.
Now, as we head into our next month of Quarantine, we’ve got to ….
“Keep on Truckin’” became a hippy-style expression of encouragement in the 1970s, meaning “Don’t give up; KEEP ON going!”
(As for “truckin’”: Leaving the final “g” off a verb is a common way of making a phrase sound more casual, more informal. In general, do not do this in writing.)
These days, people say, “Keep on going!” and “Keep on trying!” when we need encouragement or simply acceptance of a difficult situation.
The word “on” adds the idea of sustained or repeated action. You can also say, “Keep going!” (without “on”), but “keep on” is a little stronger.
A Closer Look at “On”
When you use ON with other words it reinforces “duration”:
“Stay on” – You can “stay” at a place for 10 years, but when you “stay ON” it emphasizes the continuity and duration more.
(“I was going to leave my job but decided to stay on for another year.”)
Let’s take a closer look with HOLD and HOLD ON.
Hold: The verb’s original meaning is to grasp, carry, or support in your hands.
Like holding a book, or a ticket, perhaps a hand, or a baby.
Hold on: As an idiom, “hold on” means “wait,” as in, “Can you hold on a second? I’ll be right back.”
In this context, “hold” and “hold on” are the same.
But let’s say you call a company to ask about your account.
You get a recording that asks you to “please hold” or “please hold on.”
So you wait.
And you wait … and when your waiting becomes sustained and seemingly interminable, you are holding ON (with emphasis on ON)
Holding ON can be applied to waiting for customer service to answer, or to other challenging situations, like a difficult job, relationship, or other …
Click here for a 20-second video I took of a woman singing on the subway back in 2018. For me, it was the end of a long day, I was tired, and I found the woman’s words about “keep keepin’ on” uplifting and encouraging.
Notice that when the woman’s voice cracks in the middle, she keeps going, keeps singing, keeps keepin’ on –
Let’s ALL keep keepin’ on!
Just keep keepin’ on
Gotta keep keepin’ on
There is nothing that your mind can’t do
Just keep keepin’ on
Gotta keep keepin’ on ….