Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
should of went
Thread poster: transparx
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
Dec 15, 2006

I am not sure whether this has been discussed before, so I have decided to go ahead and start a thread.

The question is, why do you think that quite a few native speakers -not necessarily utterly uneducated- use forms such as "should of went," "must of did," and the like?

There does exist some work on this issue -though not exhaustive- in the literature. But I was wondering whether it might be plausible to argue that speakers construct such phrases by analogy with expressions such as "kind of went," "sort of did," and so on.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:10
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
shoud've Dec 15, 2006

People hear: "should've gone [sic: went]", "must've done [sic: did]" and so they write: "should of..." and "must...of".

['uv] > [of]. I'll try to look what this phenomenon is called in Linguistics...

From http://semanticcompositions.typepad.com/index/2004/12/an_apparently_p.html

We should learn educated English, as we should learn to spell, if only because it is a certificate of competence. Mistakes like "should of" or "flaunt" for "flout" are literally childish: they are the result of people picking up language by imitation, as children do, and misunderstanding what they have heard.

[Edited at 2006-12-15 16:40]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 10:10
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
People can be lazy when it comes to language Dec 15, 2006

transparx wrote:

The question is, why do you think that quite a few native speakers -not necessarily utterly uneducated- use forms such as "should of went," "must of did," and the like?



Transparx. There is a problem with using the irregular past tense instead of the irregular past participle in general (at least in contemporary US English). I believe that some people don't know any better because it's what they have heard. Other people know better, but are not monitoring what they say.

I also believe that US English is becoming simplified as compared to UK English. There are some verbs which are strong in UK English but can be weak in US English. This might explain the usage of "went" instead of "gone".

Is this phenomenon applicable to all irregular/strong verbs, or just with a few common ones like go, do, come, etc?

Reed


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
French to English
+ ...
Different Dialect Dec 15, 2006

People, including several people dear to me, use these constructions because they speak, as most English-speakers do, a dialect that differs in various ways from Standard English. There is nothing "wrong" about this form of speech, it is just a different language, as French is different from Spanish, and is socially appropriate in certain (largely informal) circumstances. Standard English is the preferred choice for formal writing, but is no more naturally "correct" than any other form of speech.

What is pronounced [uv] gets written as "of." It should be borne in mind that orthography is an extra-linguistic matter.

The other issue here is the past participle of "to go," which in Standard English is "gone," but is "went" in several dialects. One should recall that there are several instances within Standard English (at least the American kind) of verbs with acceptable variants for the past participle, e.g., "lit" and "lighted," "dove" and "dived," "got" and "gotten."


Direct link Reply with quote
 
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
true... Dec 15, 2006

Marcus Malabad wrote:

People hear: "should've gone [sic: went]", "must've done [sic: did]" and so they write: "should of..." and "must...of".



Yes, this is undoubtedly true...given that "of" and "'ve" sound the same, some people choose the former. What I was wondering is whether there are syntactic implications, too. At least one linguist claims that those speakers who use "of" want, in fact, to use "of." This linguist likens the structure of such phrases to that underlying a typical noun phrase in which the head noun is modified by a prepositional phrase headed by "of," such as "a box of candy." As far as I know, no one has suggested a similarity between "must of did" and "kind of did," but it seems to me that it would be an interesting question to at least explore.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jackie Bowman

Local time: 09:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Kinda interesting question ... Dec 15, 2006

I agree with Marcus on this, though I should say that I haven’t read the literature on the matter.

But intuitively I suspect that ‘should of’ and similar forms are misheard and never-corrected versions of the contraction ‘should have’, rather than an association with ‘kind of’.

In American English, at least, I’ve tended to see ‘kind of’ rendered in demotic speech as ‘kinda’—‘I kinda like that’ and so on.

In Brit English, especially from the north-west, where I originate, you wouldn’t even get the ‘f’. It’d be ‘I should o’ [literally, I shudder] spoken to him’. But it’s still an effort at ‘should have’ rather than ‘kind of’.

Interesting question … best of luck with the research.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
interesting question Dec 15, 2006

Reed D. James wrote:

Is this phenomenon applicable to all irregular/strong verbs, or just with a few common ones like go, do, come, etc?

Reed


This is a very interesting question, too. Perhaps only some verbs are modifiable by "of" at the present time. The question is, is this phenomenon on the rise? Will it become pervasive and substantially modify the language?

[Edited at 2006-12-15 17:07]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
totally agree Dec 15, 2006

Richard Creech wrote:

People, including several people dear to me, use these constructions because they speak, as most English-speakers do, a dialect that differs in various ways from Standard English. There is nothing "wrong" about this form of speech, it is just a different language, as French is different from Spanish, and is socially appropriate in certain (largely informal) circumstances. Standard English is the preferred choice for formal writing, but is no more naturally "correct" than any other form of speech.

What is pronounced [uv] gets written as "of." It should be borne in mind that orthography is an extra-linguistic matter.

The other issue here is the past participle of "to go," which in Standard English is "gone," but is "went" in several dialects. One should recall that there are several instances within Standard English (at least the American kind) of verbs with acceptable variants for the past participle, e.g., "lit" and "lighted," "dove" and "dived," "got" and "gotten."


I don't think there is anything wrong with these forms. In fact, I tend to think that people do want to use "of," although I'm not sure why. Usually, speakers say what they want to say -except, of course, in the case of slips of the tongue.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
yes... Dec 15, 2006

Jackie Bowman wrote:

In American English, at least, I’ve tended to see ‘kind of’ rendered in demotic speech as ‘kinda’—‘I kinda like that’ and so on.



...and I've seen "could have" (+ past participle, of course) spelled as "coulda"!
However, I have never seen "of" being reduced to "a" between two nouns, or even between an adjective and a noun --does this occur? This is the reason why I started wondering whether there might be an analogy to be drawn between "kinda" and "shoulda." And of course, one could argue in favor of this analysis on semantic grounds as well.

[Edited at 2006-12-15 17:23]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:10
Italian to English
A couple of thoughts Dec 15, 2006

transparx wrote:

But I was wondering whether it might be plausible to argue that speakers construct such phrases by analogy with expressions such as "kind of went," "sort of did," and so on.



AFAIK, confusion of the preterite (simple past) and past participle has always existed with strong (irregular) English verbs.

In modern English, of course, all newly coined verbs are weak (regular) so the two forms are identical and the problem doesn't arise. The few surviving strong (irregular) verbs are the high-frequency ones that most native speakers are unlikely to get wrong accidentally.

Nevertheless, the use of the simple past for the past participle to form the present perfect of these few surviving strong verbs is still common in spoken Scots, a very conservative form of English, and frequently used in informal written language, too.

For example, the comedian Stanley Baxter has a delicious way of slipping in a Scots form such as "he has went" into carefully enunciated standard English in his routines.

In other words, "went" for "gone" and so on is a register variation that is available to certain groups of speakers.

I don't think the "kind of" analogy holds much water, though.

You will note that the compound verb forms in your example all require the unstressed auxiliary verb "have": "of" is simply one written representation of the schwa+v contracted form more frequently indicated as "'ve".

It's exactly the same as the not terribly grammatical "have" that many speakers slip into the protasis of conditional sentences, more for euphony than anything else: "if I'd've known"/"if I'd of known".

You'll find examples of both in informal contexts if you google around a bit.

FWIW

Giles


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:10
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I'm going to > I'm-a Dec 15, 2006

transparx wrote:
I've seen "could have" (+ past participle, of course) spelled as "coulda"![/quote]

and you will hear this in US speech everywhere:
"I'm going to..." reduced to "[ai-ma...]"

written:
"I'm going to bust your ass, you owe me 30 bucks buddy!"
what you hear:
"I'm-a bas yo ass, ya-ow me 30 bux, bddy!"


[Edited at 2006-12-15 17:38]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"require" at what level? Dec 15, 2006

Giles Watson wrote:

I don't think the "kind of" analogy holds much water, though.

You will note that the compound verb forms in your example all require the unstressed auxiliary verb "have": "of" is simply one written representation of the schwa+v contracted form more frequently indicated as "'ve".

It's exactly the same as the not terribly grammatical "have" that many speakers slip into the protasis of conditional sentences, more for euphony than anything else: "if I'd've known"/"if I'd of known".

Giles


I agree with what you say about the use of the simple past with the value of the past participle. However, this does not really affect the question at hand. You will find both "should of went" and "should of gone"!

As for the use of "have," I'm not sure this auxiliary is required at the level of temporal logical structure. I remember reading that in some languages --notably Scandinavian languages-- a modal auxiliary can directly precede the past form of the verb selected. This means that the use --or insertion-- of "have" is entirely language-specific. If so, why do some people choose to orthographically represent it as "of"?

As for your last example, it is probably the case that speakers use "would have known" by analogy with "could have + past participle," which is totally grammatical. This is another interesting question, too, deserving perhaps its own thread and having to do, I believe, with what some refer to as the "loss of the subjunctive" in English.

[Edited at 2006-12-15 17:49]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:10
Italian to English
Hi transparx Dec 15, 2006

transparx wrote:

I agree with what you say about the use of the simple past with the value of the past participle. However, this does not really affect the question at hand. You will find both "should of went" and "should of gone"!



I thought you were making two points: one about the preterite/past participle in the present perfect and another about the shwa+v sound.



As for the use of "have," I'm not sure this auxiliary is required at the level of temporal logical structure.



That's what I said. It's inserted for euphony.



I remember reading that in some languages --notably Scandinavian languages-- a modal auxiliary can directly precede the past form of the verb selected. This means that the use --or insertion-- of "have" is entirely language-specific. If so, why do some people choose to orthographically represent it as "of"?



Simply because, being unstressed in this instance, it actually sounds identical.

I'm afraid I don't see the relevance of your references to Scandinavian languages nor do I understand your point about "have" being "language-specific" (it is - it's specific to English!).



As for your last example, it is probably the case that speakers use "would have known" by analogy with "could have + past participle," which is totally grammatical.



It's grammatical in the apodosis of the conditional sentence but not in the protasis. The standard form is:

If I'd known, I'd've come.

The euphonic/dialect form is:

If I'd've known, I'd've come.

Sorry, perhaps I should have given you the full example.

Cheers,

Giles


Direct link Reply with quote
 
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
kinda... Dec 16, 2006

I must take back what I said earlier --about "a" not occurring between two nouns (that is, between two noun phrases).
I just realized that the title of your post constitutes a potential counterexample to my 'generalization'.

Jackie Bowman wrote:
Kinda interesting question ...


It would be interesting to see whether this use of "a" is triggered by the word "kind" (arguably functional rather than lexical here) and perhaps some other words, or whether it could be generalized.

I was rushing to work this morning, so I actually missed reading the last line of your post.
Jackie Bowman wrote:
… best of luck with the research.

Thank you for your wishes!



[Edited at 2006-12-16 01:26]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
maybe! Dec 16, 2006

Giles Watson wrote:

That's what I said. It's inserted for euphony.



This is undoubtedly a possibility; however, it raises the question, what makes "should went/gone," "must did/done," etc. cacophonic?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

should of went

Advanced search






PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs