Joseph Carson samizdata at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu Jan 20 14:30:02 UTC 2000

Dear Bibiana Giocoli,

          Welcome back to the list!  It seems you were reinitiated with
no difficulties, but I wanted to point out that you've got the same
habit as I do of spelling "subscribe" as "suscribe" (without the "b"),
which computers often reject as an unrecognizable command.  As far as
the difference between "may" and "might" is concerned, it is mainly that
of using informal "may" as opposed to formal "might," although "may" can
be interpreted more broadly as expressive of an intention to perform an
act in terms of its possibility rather than from the standpoint of a
firmly stated objective, whereas "might" has the same quality of
indicating an action's potentiality, but with the added feature of
specifying one's level of immediacy, urgency and determination to see
the particular act or goal in question not merely stated as a possible
outcome that can be performed by an anonymous person or group of people
at some vaguely defined point of time in the remote future, but instead
is going to happen at a particular place and time and will be performed
by the person predicting its occurence, very promptly. For example, one
can say, "It may become necessary to fix that broken window one day,"
or "I might as well fix the broken window now, before it rains again."

I hope somebody with a good dictionary contributes information relevant
to your query, for my sake as well as yours, since I may well be wrong,
while they might be right on this.  Let's switch that: I might well be
wrong, while they may be right - it doesn't work so well this way, does
it?  In any case, it is "muy bueno" to welcome an Argentinian, and
Italian-Argentinian at that, to contribute their insights about idioms
and dialects in your Buenos Aires context as they intersect with
parallel expressions of  equivalent sentiments in our inelegant,
unpoetic English "jergas o idiomas."  For instance, what's the name used
to identify residents of your capital, Buenos Aires?  It has a
distinctive dialect of its own, evidently, which you may be kind enough
to share a few samples of in the list someday.

             Ciao, Joseph Carson

bibiana giocoli wrote:

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