USAGE: Subjunctive and Hopefully
|From:||Muke Tever <alrivera@...>|
|Date:||Monday, July 17, 2000, 21:05|
>===== Original Message From John Cowan <jcowan@...> =====
>Muke Tever wrote:
>> No! If that happens I'll explode!
>> "The committee requests that Smith **appears before them tomorrow."
>AmE: The committee requests that Smith appear before them tomorrow
> (frozen subjunctive)
>BrE: The committee requests that Smith should appear before them tomorrow
Well that's not so much 'atrophy of the subjunctive' as restating the
sentence. I read the original as pointing to more 'If I were' > 'If I was'
type of thing.
>> Long live the subjunctive mood, even if only in mandative constructions!
>"Mandative" doesn't seem the word:
>Julia suggested that she (should) play Ophelia.
Well, that's just the term I saw given for it. Better than "suggestive"
constructions, eh? ;)
>> Yanno I was thinking about "hopefully" today and it took me a good few
>> minutes to see why someone would think it was bad usage in the first place.
>In a word, because it fails to answer the question "Who is hopeful?"
Well, that's my problem, because it seems fairly clear that when 'hopefully'
is used that it's the speaker who's being hopeful.
It begins to remind me of those 'evidential' (?) constructions discussed here
earlier where the speaker tells how true or false a statement is in the
delivery. In this case it'd be something like "I hope this is true" (or not
>In fact, "hopefully" does not express hope, but rather "affirms the
>desirability of an action that may or may not come to pass" (Follett).
Isn't that what being hopeful is?
>But it also has the more regular sense, as in "It is better to travel
>hopefully [i.e. with hope] than to arrive".
I don't even think I can use 'hopefully' that way.
Maybe for a kind of passive action ("listen hopefully", "wait hopefully"), but
even there only awkwardly.
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