"should/ would" opinions please

Jocelyn Limpert jocelyn.limpert at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 28 16:58:20 UTC 2013

Could this not be a simple as that his feeling that he should have left his
youthful and not as mature life behind, should now be a mature man?

On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "should/ would" opinions please
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Here's an interesting "should/would" question with a dash of "might" for
> those more attuned to 19th C. nuance than I am.
> In an 1881 essay on the battle of Shiloh, Ambrose Bierce concludes by
> waxing poetic in the following terms:
> "Ah, Youth, there is no such wizard as thou! =85[G]ild for but one moment
> t=
> he
> drear and somber scenes of to-day, and I will willingly surrender an other
> [sic] life than the one that I should have thrown away at Shiloh."
> I can't believe (from the broader context) he means that he "should" have
> thrown his life away; merely that he "might" have (by being killed).  (The
> "other" life involved, in contrast to his adventurous youth, is his drab
> post-bellum existence.)
> Whatever Bierce may mean, I don't feel that my sprakgefool is sharp enough
> to determine the nuances of "should" and "would" in this case.
> How do others interpret Bierce's meaning?
> JL
> --=20
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list