[Ads-l] antedating (?) of conditional "would have" = 'had'

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 31 12:44:38 UTC 2015

Perhaps like many others, I've always thought of this as a rather recent
development. My idiolect restricts me to "if...had" (AFAIK):

But it's not as recent as I thought:

1900 in Willard B. Gatewood, Jr. _Smoked Yankees: Letters from Negro
Soldiers, 1898-1902_  [Fayetteville: U. of Ark. P., 1987) 279: All this
never would have occurred if the army of occupation would have treated them
as people.

(Note appearance of both customary and innovative "would haves" in the same

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

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