?British English 'should of'

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jun 19 15:36:47 UTC 2006

Forwarded from LINGUIST.  Apologies for cross-posting;  as usual, please reply
to both this list and the original poster (who's copied in).  He's not a member
of this list (shame!).

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania


Message 1: (British?) English 'Should Of' Construction
Date: 16-Jun-2006
From: Mark Jones <markjjones at hotmail.com>
Subject: (British?) English 'Should Of' Construction

Dear Linguists,

I'm familiar with the observation that English speakers often expand
contractions like ''should've'' as ''should of'' in writing, but recently
I've heard two interviews with British English speaking footballers of
different ages and from different dialect areas (Alan Shearer, 35, from
Newcastle, and Wayne Rooney, 20, from Liverpool) use these expanded forms
in stressed forms in speech in unscripted interviews.

In a BBC World Cup slot on Wednesday 15th June, Alan Shearer said something
along the lines of ''He didn't score, but he SHOULD OF''. The vowel quality
was unmistakable, and Geordie English typically realises /h/, though
admittedly perhaps not always in function words. Still, this example was

These two observations have made me wonder whether this expanded form has
been previously reported in speech. Is it just footballers?

I will post a summary of any responses. Many thanks.


Mark J. Jones
Department of Linguistics
University of Cambridge
mjj13 at cam.ac.uk

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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