It’s not done until it’s done. And even then it’s not done.
Growing up, my mother would try to impart better manners onto us, speaking or otherwise. One of the social graces was the done vs finished conundrum. When we finished our meal and said “I’m done,” she would correct us that we were finished, saying that done referred to cooked food. We were obliged to rephrase before leaving the table and say, “I’m finished,” (followed by “may I please be excused”).
I’ve tried to remember that over the years, not always successfully. And if I’m putting stuff out there, like a words on a public blog post, I may want to try, wherever possible, not to be a complete dumbo about too much, especially proper word usage.
There are still folk who opine about the differentiation. Perhaps one of the more thoughtful I found was by a poster named ashman165 from Washington. A165 says, “You can think of it as the difference between sufficient and complete. Done implies that there is a sufficient degree of progress to stop. Finished implies that there is no possible way to continue.”
A165 explains the difference between cooking something, like a turkey, where one might say “it’s done,” but it still needs to sit, be carved, served,…” In fact it could have been cooked more time or less. The cook considered it done at the time. Whereas a project, say a homework exercise or building a house, has a “complete” phase, when the act of doing it cannot be furthered.
But given A165’s differentiation, one could argue that using done when finished eating might be appropriate describing “a sufficient degree of progress to stop.” Or maybe it has to do with whether you’ve left food on your plate or not. Or maybe it’s just an (unwritten) rule thing — done is for food and finished is for people? But wait, I’m not done….
What’s that saying, “….a woman’s work is never done?” Hum,….hey, I’m a man, I work from sun to sun.
What’s the point? I thought I’d be done with this jaw recuperation inside of eight weeks. Now between weeks five and six, it looks unlikely. It’s a long healing process. And even when that’s over it’s not over. There is more to do, like building in teeth someday, and other hidden repercussions of getting one’s face rearranged.
Right now my face is still trying to assimilate and accustom itself to the titanium plate that has been made a permanent resident with the bone and flesh in the area. And it’s not done. And even when it is it won’t be finished.
That being said, before I go deeper, and prior to completing this fleeting thought, I think this post is both done and finished.