Meaning of "used to would" double modal?

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Nov 12 19:30:29 UTC 2009

Speaking from my own "Southern" intuitions:

The modal "would" here simply adds--or emphasizes--a sense of habituality.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 12:24:21 -0500
>From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> (on behalf of Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>)
>A friend encountered some examples of the "used to would" double modal in a song by a southern performer. I explained the general idea, but he pointed out that in the examples in the song--things like "lies I used to would tell" or "people I used to would hate"--the "would" seemed redundant, and he asked if the double modal was emphatic, or random, or what.
>I don't actually know, and figured I'd ask here rather than trying to make something up based on the few resources for this that I have handy.
>Thanks for any input.
>Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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