I wish I were in a position to correct another writing error, apart from this one on the subjunctive.
I’m sure that this post is supposed to tell you all about where I’d like to be or what I’d like to be doing, but instead I’m going to use it to have a bleat about another piece of grammar. So:
My grammar is as bad as anyone whose native language is English. We’re not really taught it, are we? We learn it after-the-fact as we learn to cope in another language. I learned Latin, where the grammar is strictly adhered to and you need to know how English is put together. I didn’t, which made life hard. And then French, where I discovered French teachers don’t take kindly to people lousing up their grammar.
However, in English, my particular bugbears are to do with the tiny word ‘of’:
I could of, I should of, I would of… done something or other. NO!
The word ‘of’ has nothing to do with any of these which are pieces of a verb – I expect someone will tell me the exact tense, but I think they are conditional past and that word ‘of’ should be ‘have’.
The confusion arises because we shorten the expressions especially when we say them: so ‘could have’ becomes ‘could’ve’ and so on, and in speech this sounds like could of. That doesn’t mean it should be written that way.
I could have, I should have, I would have.
Now so many people use ‘of’, it’s becoming accepted and in speech is barely noticeable, yet when we see it written down, it makes absolutely no sense.
Thank you for letting me have an opportunity to rant on the subject.
P.S. I don’t like the use of ‘myself’ when people mean ‘me’ either!
P.P.S. Hope all my friends from across the Pond are safe and well after the enormous storm. Take care y’all!
P.P.P.S. Happy Halloween.