"might have done"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Nov 21 17:39:35 UTC 2000

In a message dated 11/21/2000 12:10:11 PM, mkuha at BSUVC.BSU.EDU writes:

<< Interesting. This really adds to my appreciation of the episode of the
britcom "Are You Being Served" in which Mr. Lucas tells the story of how
he got caught in a young woman's apartment and tried to pass for a TV
repairman (i.e. a legitimate visitor) by picking up the TV and starting to
leave the apartment with it. "Did you get away with it?" Mr. Humphries
asks, intrigued. "I might have done, if I'd had me pants on," Lucas
explains. Maybe "might have done" here is intended as humorous
hypercorrection. >>

I wouldn't see it as hypercorrection at all--I doubt that the script writers
even knew that "might have done" was anything but the normal way of saying
it. Which it is for Brits under the age of 120.

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