The Powers That Be

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 17 04:09:27 UTC 2013

On Apr 16, 2013, at 11:09 PM, Benjamin Torbert wrote:

> Someone is asking me about this phrase, and I teach HOtEL, but I ain't no
> bona fide historical linguist.
> Have we antedated the phrase to ME (which was one of the hypotheses on
> facbook)?
> My feeling was that it's not really subjunctive, but rather durative.  It's
> not that we're not sure whether these powers be.
> Also, archaic forms are more likely to be preserved in archaic, set phrases.
By and large.


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