Or should I say

nemo eve walle

Senior Member
chinese
A news anchor is speaking on television:
Now we're over to Swallow Falls, where our intern is on her first day on the job. Or should I say, first grey on the job.



Does ''should I say'' mean ''If I should say''? Because as far as I know is this is a kind of inversion of sentence.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Or should I say, usually introduces a pun or other word-play on what has been said immediately before. (Sometimes it is not a good joke and the person saying it knows it is not too funny.)

    A:"I found my watch when I needed it, or should I say "at the right time" = "Or should I say "I found my watch at the right time"

    watch -> time;
    when I needed it -> at the right time -> right time -> accurate watch

    (and we all laugh...)
     

    nemo eve walle

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Honestly...I don't get it...about your joke.

    But why, why is ''should'' before the subject of the sentence, I? Since it is not a question, nor a subjunctive mood, so I don't get this, too.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Honestly...I don't get it...about your joke.
    All jokes are difficult to explain; particularly puns, which often have a cultural element.
    But why, why is ''should'' before the subject of the sentence, I? Since it is not a question, nor a subjunctive mood, so I don't get this, too.
    It is a question.

    "I say XYZ... or should I say XYW?"
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Or should I say can also mean or it's perhaps more accurate to say (="I wonder whether I should say", which becomes "or should I say?").
    Example: He lived in Peking, or should I say Beijing, for 20 years.

    If you write this in brackets "(or should I say Beijing?)" you can see more clearly that it is a question.
    (I assume you know what first grey on the job means.)
     
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