should of

Hello.

Could you please explain me the purpose of using "shouldn't of" instead of "shouldn't have" in the novel by Terry Pratchett "The Color of Magic"?

“No pink, See?” screeched the homunculus. “No good you going on pressing the lever when there’s no pink, is there? If you wanted pink you shouldn’t of took all those pictures of young ladies, should you? It’s monochrome from now on, friend. Alright?”


Pratchett is an educated person. I don't believe he wrote that by mistake. What does this phrase mean?
 
  • Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    It does mean 'You shouldn't have.....' but Pratchett is imitating the speech of a less educated person.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    For most people most of the time there's no difference in pronunciation, as both of and have have the same reduced form, so mostly this is just a spelling difference. However, some people do actually say of distinctly here. It is non-standard.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It is definitely wrong, but it does definitely occur.
    As a boy growing up in Liverpool many years ago, I repeatedly heard other children say 'should of' and 'shouldn't of', distinctly pronouncing the 'of', evidently in the belief that 'of' was the right word. I would expect to find the same thing now.
     

    Wil_Estel

    Senior Member
    It is definitely wrong, but it does definitely occur.
    As a boy growing up in Liverpool many years ago, I repeatedly heard other children say 'should of' and 'shouldn't of', distinctly pronouncing the 'of', evidently in the belief that 'of' was the right word. I would expect to find the same thing now.

    What do you mean by "distinctly pronouncing the 'of'"?

    For me "should've" and "should of" sound exactly the same. So I'm quite intrigued and would like to know how others say it differently.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    They used to pronounce the two words 'should' and 'of' separately. 'Of' was pronounced exactly as it would be on its own. I can still hear it now.
    Of course, at times they also said 'should've', as we all do, where the only vowel sound between 'd' and 'v' is the schwa or 'uh' sound.
    When they said 'should of' plainly and with emphasis, they evidently thought they were giving the correct full version of 'should've'.
     
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    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    This is common in many Australian schools. My teenage son says that his fellow-pupils invariably articulate the syllable (if stressed) as "of" instead of "have".

    Nor is it a new phenomenon. The OED cites a letter of Keats:
    1819 I should not of written in such fiery phrase in my first Letter

    .. and Denison 2007 uncovered a still earlier use:
    1774 I should be very happey to of seen mrs. Orford at Leek.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Generally əv and uv sound different to me. I think I can often (not even close to always) tell when the speaker thinks that "of" is the proper word in a particular case.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    As a boy growing up in Liverpool many years ago, I repeatedly heard other children say 'should of' and 'shouldn't of', distinctly pronouncing the 'of', evidently in the belief that 'of' was the right word. I would expect to find the same thing now.
    I hear it all the time in Manchester:( I believe it's a 'disease' that is spreading.
     
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