"might have done"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Nov 21 19:10:53 UTC 2000

In a message dated 11/21/2000 2:03:12 PM, mkuha at BSUVC.BSU.EDU writes:

<< > I wouldn't see it as hypercorrection at all--I doubt that the script
> 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.

Oh, OK. I thought in your earlier message you meant that it still was a
sign of "cultivated" speech.
mk >>

I guess that I'm assuming that all of the characters on AYBS are speakers of
"cultivated" English, broadly speaking--i.e., they are not blue-collar nor
are they rural. But in fact I suspect that "might have done" is the normal
form for pretty much everyone in London today. What I meant was that, prior
to World War I, "might have done" was the accepted form among "cultivated"
speakers but maybe not among rurals and blue-collars. In other words, "might
have done" spread into the urban middle classes and above from outside.

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