I'd have never thought of that

lzarzalejo73

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello. I'm reading the book titled The Intelligence of Dogs, written by Stanley Coren, and I've come across a quotation I'm not sure is correct. This is the sentence: "You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, "My God, you’re RIGHT! I NEVER would of thought of that!” — DAVE BARRY. Would it not be more correct to say: "I would have never thought of that" I've heard that adverb placement, such as "never" is fairly free in English, but I've never come across "would of thought". I wonder if it is a typo, a mistake or... Thanks in advance for your kind cooperation.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Would of' is something like a misspelling. As both it and 'would have' are normally pronounced the same, namely 'would've', people confuse them in writing.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    'Would of' is something like a misspelling. As both it and 'would have' are normally pronounced the same, namely 'would've', people confuse them in writing.
    I missed that part of the question :oops:, but agree with etb. There are even some people who say it "ov" with a strong o (think dog), rather than schwa, because they think it is written "would of"!
     

    lzarzalejo73

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thanks, everybody. It's interesting to see how people can change the spelling of words -in this case "of" for "'ve"- according to phonetics rather than complying with the basic rules of the perfect conditional. Just as HG Wells said: "Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe". I hope my quoting is not considered to be "high and mighty"
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    Dave Barry wrote a nationally syndicated column for US newspapers for more than twenty years. I suspect that in this case he wrote "I NEVER would of thought of that!" because he's imagining that a dog would speak sloppy English and say 'would of thought' rather than 'would have thought.' It's not a mistake in this case (nor a sign of imminent catastrophe), it's part of the humor.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, I've also heard it with a distinct 'of', so for those people the grammar has changed.
    Not consistently though. They wouldn't say, "I of already thought of that". instead of "I have already thought of that". The usage only seems to occur with "would" and "could".
     
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    S1m0n

    Senior Member
    English
    Barry is using dialect to imply social class. Dogs are often depicted as lower class when they are given dialogue, particularly for humour. Saying 'would've' for 'would have' is extremely common in America, but writing it as 'would of' marks the writer as someone who is poorly educated.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    Barry is using dialect to imply social class. Dogs are often depicted as lower class when they are given dialogue, particularly for humour. Saying 'would've' for 'would have' is extremely common in America, but writing it as 'would of' marks the writer as someone who is poorly educated.
    Dave Barry has a Bachelor's degree in English from Haverford College, a highly-esteemed private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. Indeed he writes 'would of' instead of 'would've', but that doesn't reflect his own education. He's expressing a (poorly-educated) dog's thoughts.
     
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