Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 18:45:42 -0700
From: William King WFKING[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
Subject: Re: may/might distinction
We have a guest over at the moment. The jury of three -- NYC area, upstate
NY area, Cleveland area -- all found the sentence
"If he didn't have to run against Anderson as well as Nixon, Hubert
Humphrey may have been elected president of the United States.
to be off (or blinky).
This was a good test case, I think, because the initial clause, which
also bugs me, is less likely to force the choice of "might" than the
preferable "hadn't had to run."
Might retains past tense meaning among those who do not eat grits.
I might not have predicted such a thing.
This is the ultimate ESL list, even for my own dialect.
Bill King SLAT (wfking[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ccit.arizona.edu)