[Ads-l] antedating (?) of conditional "would have" = 'had'

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 1 04:08:23 UTC 2016

On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 7:44 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> I've always thought of this as a rather recent
> development.

Thangs be's that way. I've recently found out that one of my pettest
peeves, splitting an infinitive with "not," e.g.:

"to be or _to not be_"

as Shakespeare didn't put it - which struck me as being about a
quarter-century old, can be found in Wycliffe's Bible:

"Thou that prechist _to not stele_ stelist?"


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list