Double modal

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Thu Dec 28 19:30:03 UTC 2006

Or do they stop to think about it only because you raise the issue?  I
don't see how it could be "unintelligible," and it's certainly not
"ungrammatical" to native users.  "All bad"--what does that mean???

At 02:06 PM 12/28/2006, you wrote:
>I don't know. Most fellow Northerners that I ask about the double modal
>construction seem to stop and scratch their heads when hearing it. At least
>around here in Wisconsin it is quite noticeable and nearly unintelligible
>(to us anyway). I've spent some time studying them recently and they still
>seem ungrammatical to my internal dialect. But I figure if Lee Majors uses
>them, they can't be all bad, can they?
>>From: Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
>>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Subject: Re: Double modal
>>Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 13:49:49 -0500
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
>>Subject:      Re: Double modal
>>I'm not sure it's that noticeable, or off-putting, to Northerners.  A
>>similar "double" is the Southern double complementizer "like that," as in
>>"It seems like that we're in a mess in Iraq."  I made that up, but Southern
>>Congressmen are heard using the form often--as would any normal Southerner,
>>of course.
>>At 01:19 PM 12/28/2006, you wrote:
>> >Is that the same species as one of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a
>> >redneck..." shibboleths,
>> >
>> >         _I used t' could'a'_
>> >
>> >?
>> >
>> >-jk
>> >
>> >At 09:35 AM 12/28/2006, Scot LaFaive wrote:
>> >>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> >>-----------------------
>> >>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"
>> >>Lee Majors and Dolly Parton, I heard Lee Majors' character use a double
>> >>modal ("might could"). This isn't thrilling (esp. considering that at
>> >>one of writers is from the South as is Lee Majors), but it did stand out
>> >>little. I was surprised that a cheesy, feel-good, mass market movie
>> >>use a double modal that might frighten the Northerners.
>> >>Just thought it was worth noting.
>> >>
>> >>Scot
>> >>
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>> >>
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