a quasi double modal on ESPN's Baseball Tonight

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Jun 20 04:53:43 UTC 2008

This sounds like to me a cross of "may be" and "very well could be."
Both "may well could be" and "very well could be" have the same meter.

On Jun 19, 2008, at 9:27 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> Now that the N. Y. Mets and Seattle Mariners have just fired their
> managers, the question was posed on ESPN's Baseball Tonight as to
> whether the floundering Toronto Blue Jays might be the third team to,
> as they say, opt to go in a different direction, one of the talking
> heads-- a man definitely not from the Texas/Arkansas/Louisiana
> area--agreed,
> "They may well could be".
> Presumably, "They may could be" itself would not have been possible,
> but the intervention of the adverb seems to help somehow.  Hard to
> test with my usual methods--there are 4880 reputed g-hits for "may
> well could be", most apparently relevant, but "may could be" is
> hopeless ("May could be among the least violent months of the Iraq
> war", "'shall' and 'may' could be replaced by indicatives", etc.
> etc.).

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