Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 10:26:38 -0700 From: Peter McGraw Subject: Not exactly double modals I have no wish to become "Mr. Double Modals," but I kept thinking about this related usage.... My great aunt always said "used to could." While this isn't a double modal, it's really the same phenomenon: use of a finite form of the modal where an infinitive would be used if one were available. I don't think I ever knew anyone besides my great aunt who actually used this construction, though I've heard OF it elsewhere, probably as an element of caricatures of country speech. (The only actual example I remember is an article by James Thurber denouncing the language of advertising, saying he expected any day now to see a slogan, "We still brew good like we used to could.") My great aunt was not from the South, but her husband was from Tennessee. He died too long ago for me to remember whether he used the construction or not. So my question to you double-modal using Southerners out there: Do you also use "used to could"? I've just learned that Scots uses modals this way. Viz. the following message (prompted by my query about a message the writer had sent to another list): >Peter - >"Ye'll can" in Scots = "You will be able to" in English. Ither >constructions the same are "I'll no can", "he widnae cuid hae duin whit >ye say", and sae on. >Aa the best, >John Law Peter McGraw Linfield College McMinnville, OR