coulda woulda shoulda

David A. Daniel dad at POKERWIZ.COM
Fri Mar 1 15:35:01 UTC 2013

Yeah, well, I know it's not PC (especially in this group!) to talk about
right or wrong or does or doesn't belong, but I do believe in clarity of
expression and in order to have that, I think, we all need to play by the
same rules. Or else we all have to learn a whole bunch of different rules
and then figure out which set of rules is being used at a given moment. If I
intend to say something counterfactual and use the subjunctive to do it,
it's handy if the person I'm saying it to knows what the implications of my
using the subjunctive are, if you see what I mean. Same with conditional and
all those other pesky tenses and rules. Now I do confess that I pretty much
understood that " you wish you would have learned..." was probably
intended to be in the subjunctive sense, and that I found the use of the
conditional merely irritating rather than confusing. But Benjamin, on the
other hand, gave the "would have" an entirely different interpretation,
which would seem to mean that the communication has been muddied after all -
two people read it and then disagree over what was meant! So there ya go.
I'm only judgemental in terms of clarity being maintained. As you can see I
don't really care where people put their prepositions at, and I refuse to
spell judgemental judgmental, so I don't insist on playing by all the rules,
just the ones that matter for improved (or at least, not degraded) clarity
of communication. IMHO

Poster:       Michael Newman <Michael.Newman at QC.CUNY.EDU>
Subject:      Re: coulda woulda shoulda

This is and has long been very common at least in NYC. Also, "where it
doesn't belong" seems a tad judgmental to me.

On Mar 1, 2013, at 9:21 AM, "David A. Daniel" <dad at POKERWIZ.COM>

> Poster:       "David A. Daniel" <dad at POKERWIZ.COM>
> Subject:      coulda woulda shoulda
> Has anyone else noticed increased use of the conditional where it doesn't
> belong? I just saw this on, "Do you wish you would have learned
> computer programming when you were younger?" Or am I just getting
> oversensitive in my old age?

The American Dialect Society -

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