Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"AS IT WERE...."

Yesterday someone used the phrase "couldn't hardly";  unlike the cartoon, I did NOT correct.

However, that usage transported me back in time: I recall my teacher Miss Digman physically recoiling when a classmate said it. I knew at the time that it was incorrect usage, and that I undoubtedly would never say or write it in my lifetime, but that vision of Miss Digman's reaction is indelibly etched in my brain and has kept me vigilant.

Definition of hardly:  scarcely
(used to qualify a statement by saying that it is true to an insignificant degree)

Adverbs such as hardly, rarely, scarcely, barely, and seldom should not be used in the same clause with a negative as it creates a double negative. Adverbs which suggest "few", "little", and "not often" should not be used with a negative.

A friend recently quizzed my using "were" instead of "was" in a sentence, "If that were the case....." Of course I know that "if" in that sentence requires the subjunctive mood and "were" is correct, but my friend said it sound "stilted", and although pleased with her use of the word "stilted", I replied, "It sounds correct, as it were."

My brothers and I laugh and imitate our teacher Mr. Kelley when we use the subjunctive mood, as Mr. Kelley would often say "As it were..." and "As is my wont...".

I think our long-gone teachers would be pleased to know they still influence us. 

Miss Digman would oftentimes use 
"je ne sais quoi".  CERTAINEMENT, indeed!

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