Double modal

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Thu Dec 28 18:48:25 UTC 2006

Shibboleth? Are smart-ass Northerners stationed at the I-65 bridge in
southern Indiana just a-waiten to slay any double modaller (?) who
dares to cross? What's the eliciting phrase? (Can you touch your

You knbow, they's a heckuva lot of bridges along that river. Maybe a
big fence and some nasty guard dogs would be a sight better.


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       James Knight <jamesknight at CENTURYTEL.NET>
>Subject:      Re: Double modal
>Is that the same species as one of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a
>redneck..." shibboleths,
>          _I used t' could'a'_
>At 09:35 AM 12/28/2006, Scot LaFaive wrote:
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>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Scot LaFaive <spiderrmonkey at HOTMAIL.COM>
>>Subject:      Double modal
>>This weekend, while suffering through "Smoky Mountain Christmas" starring
>>Lee Majors and Dolly Parton, I heard Lee Majors' character use a double
>>modal ("might could"). This isn't thrilling (esp. considering that at least
>>one of writers is from the South as is Lee Majors), but it did stand out a
>>little. I was surprised that a cheesy, feel-good, mass market movie would
>>use a double modal that might frighten the Northerners.
>>Just thought it was worth noting.
>>The MSN Entertainment Guide to Golden Globes is here.  Get all the scoop.
>>The American Dialect Society -
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Dennis R. Preston
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