On a presidential debate analysis program on KCRW yesterday a guest gave his thoughts on Andrew Yang's sweepstakes pilot and labeled it a ploy. The host then followed by saying:

I think it goes to an interesting thing about Andrew Yang's support, which is that even though he is running for a democratic primary he has a lot of supporters who would identify as libertarians..."

Does "It goes to..." here mean it explains/says an interesting thing about...?

Why is this not in the dictionary and when did this usage enter the American language?

Can I borrow this and use it in my everyday conversation?


to go to something

If you are discussing a topic with someone and use the phrase: X goes to something,

It means: to show or reveal or explain something about a situation.

It is often used by people like talk show hosts or TV presenters. And yes, it is perfectly usable.

I have no idea when it started being used.

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Spoken English is different where you have some liberty to use the language in your own dialect or style. I guess, this is one such usage.

I keep coming across many such phrases or strings spoken by native speakers where dictionaries fail to explain a literal meaning. As a non-native speaker, I accept it wholeheartedly but then I use it in my speaking and never writing.

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It sounds to me like the speaker started using the expression "It goes to show..." but then changed his or her mind part way through, and switched to the less categorical "An interesting thing about..."

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  • Did you notice the weird phrasing "even though he is running a democratic primary [what goes here?] he has a lot of supporters" – AIQ Sep 15 '19 at 5:47
  • This prompted me to re-listen and add what I'd missed hearing. It actually went: "Even though he is running for a democratic primary, he has a..." I don't know if this is any less weird to your ears. I've heard news reporters drop elections in democratic primary elections and end it at primary. – Bahram Sep 15 '19 at 8:00

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