You'd of thought - would of, could of, should of !!

Mr Bones

Senior Member
España - Español
Hello, again. I've just posted a question about the language used in the story Haircut, by Ring Lardner (thread double negation). The same character says many times the following:

You'd of thought it was a reserved seat

instead of

You'd've thought it was a reserved seat.

Could you comment on this? Who speaks this way and where? Thank you. Bones.
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Greetings Mr. Bones,

    It is very common colloquial speech. As to grammar, it is wrong. Period. However, it is a common distortion of

    You would have thought.=> You'd have thought.=>You'd've thought.

    The substitution of "of" for "have" or 'would have' is part of the delightful evolution of English. It hurts my ears, but it's real. You'd of thought I'd have got used to it by now.
     

    panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    cuchuflete said:
    Greetings Mr. Bones,

    It is very common colloquial speech. As to grammar, it is wrong. Period. However, it is a common distortion of

    You would have thought.=> You'd have thought.=>You'd've thought.

    The substitution of "of" for "have" or 'would have' is part of the delightful evolution of English. It hurts my ears, but it's real. You'd of thought I'd have got used to it by now.
    I can tell you're not a native of'er - your last sentence should of read:
    You'd of thought I'd of got used to it by now.

    PS I have noticed this coming since my kids were kids WMPG's age (5). I can confirm that although very infectious it is not permanent - if the patient is given writing to do on a regular basis, or indeed reads sources that are not of'ist.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    To me this is another've those spelling problems-- not a grammar question. The error doesn't exist in spoken language because both (different) spelled forms are spoken (the same). If you write "you'd of" (or "you dove") instead of "you'd've," you've misspelled-- not made a grammar error. Or more likely, you're not aware of grammar at all, and English is not a matter of writing but of intelligible sounds between you and other speakers and your iPod and your cell phone and your CD and/or DVD player and your plasma screen-- nun've witchkin rite. Please passed a mick snuts.
    .
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    cuchuflete said:
    Greetings Mr. Bones,

    It is very common colloquial speech. As to grammar, it is wrong.
    .

    Sorry to be pedantic - but surely this isn't wrong grammar? I've always thought of it as a spelling issue.

    As for use - in spoken English it is widespread, it is the elision of "have" which most (?) UK speakers say.

    It is does shock me to find it in printed material, where one would have expected an editor to have nipped it out. However, if it is speech then the writer might be using it as an indicator of region accent / dialect features.
     

    pavorese

    New Member
    California -- English
    foxfirebrand said:
    To me this is another've those spelling problems-- not a grammar question. The error doesn't exist in spoken language because both (different) spelled forms are spoken (the same). If you write "you'd of" (or "you dove") instead of "you'd've," you've misspelled-- not made a grammar error.

    I agree.

    In the U.S., this change (i.e., from "'ve" to "of") occurs in a fair amount of literature from the South, though not as much in the last 30 years, as stories and novels in dialect have become much less prevalent.
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    Don't forget to mention a further shift:

    You would have thought.=> You'd have thought.=>You'd've thought.=> You'da thought. I'da helped you, but...
    Although in the US "woulda", "coulda", "shoulda" are more common than the double contraction, I think.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    suzi br said:
    Sorry to be pedantic - but surely this isn't wrong grammar? I've always thought of it as a spelling issue.

    I would of taken the pedantry with a smile, but the replacement of a verb by a preposition has left me de-grammatified, petrified, and under the spell and foot of the written (ped) antics. Of course you are correct if it's just a mispronunciation, but if it finds its way into engraving, then what shall we call it?
    Burinslip?
     

    jess oh seven

    Senior Member
    UK/US English
    well since "'ve" and "of" sound almost identical (well, when "of" is used in it's reduced form), you can see why it's a common error. although to say "You'd of thought" is incorrect.
     

    panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I regret to say that of'ism has already made its way into written efforts. It has not crossed the Panjandrum barrier between internal draft and published work, but sooner or later an of'ist will sit in Panjandrum's chair on a permanent basis and even he must take a break sometime.
    That the transition into the wild in Panjandrum's world hasn't happened already is a tribute to the vigilance of anti-of'ists, not to the learning ability of of'ists.
     

    KittyCatty

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It is definitely incorrect and very annoying to hear people saying and to see people writing 'would of' or 'you'd of'. It does just come from the fact that ' 've ' sounds like of, and so people think it is 'of' and not a reduced form of 'have'. You should never write it, and avoid saying it because, unfortunately but honestly, it makes you sound a bit thick!
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    KittyCatty said:
    It is definitely incorrect and very annoying to hear people saying and to see people writing 'would of' or 'you'd of'.
    Can you actually hear the difference between "would of" and "would've"? Several posters have written that they sound similar, or identical when of is "in it's reduced form" (not sure what that means), but in the midwest U.S. where I'm from, I think they sound exactly the same. I haven't really paid much attention to how they sound here in Boston -- I've been too busy learning ultra-defensive driving. :eek:

    Elisabetta
     

    KittyCatty

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think 'would've' sounds more like would uhv, at least with my UK accent! so you can hear a slight difference between that and 'would of'. I took in it's reduced form to mean the shortened version of 'have' by getting rid of the h and a. It is easily mistakeable to the ear though, which is why people end up saying and writing of, and sometimes I get corrected (you should've said should HAVE') when I've just said that but it sounded like of - Very confusing, and we're not even learning the language from abroad!!
     

    lanceb

    Member
    English/USA
    TrentinaNE said:
    Can you actually hear the difference between "would of" and "would've"? Several posters have written that they sound similar, or identical when of is "in it's reduced form" (not sure what that means), but in the midwest U.S. where I'm from, I think they sound exactly the same. I haven't really paid much attention to how they sound here in Boston -- I've been too busy learning ultra-defensive driving. :eek:

    Elisabetta

    I would say that in Boston MA, New York NY, Charlotte NC, and Augusta GA, places where I've lived, there would be absolutely no difference in the sound of these two choices.

    Lance
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    I think when some say it, there is no difference in sound, but there are others who actually enunciate the "of" in such a way that there is no mistaking what they are saying.
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    cuchuflete said:
    Mid-western born New Englander hears a definite difference between a sound including an 'h' and an "a" as in bat, and uhv.
    cuchu, I'm not sure how "a" as in bat enters in the aural similarities between of and 've... But I think we might've exhausted this topic! ;)

    Elisabetta
     

    panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    of'ism is extremely audibly detectable in children, before they have acquired all of the slovenly verbal habits of their parents and slurred their of'ish usage.
    It is especially clear when they start to write for themselves.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    TrentinaNE said:
    cuchu, I'm not sure how "a" as in bat enters in the aural similarities between of and 've... But I think we might've exhausted this topic! ;)

    Elisabetta
    Exhaustedly, the "a" as in bat goes right after the "h" as in have, in contrast with uhv. I shoulda should'of
    should have been more precise. Sorry.

    Practice defensive driving among Bostonians? Useless. You must learn to be extraordinary aggressive, and give no quarter.
    Survival tip from one who has endured them in their territory, and locks the door and closes the shades when they come to coastal Maine for the summer.;)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    cuchuflete said:
    I would of taken the pedantry with a smile, but the replacement of a verb by a preposition has left me de-grammatified,

    Hmm, this sounds convincing, but this view of grammar is one I do not agree with. Words do not belong to a word class, per se, they can only be classified as a word class according to what they are doing in a sentence ... for me the syntax defines the word-class of any given word.

    This is easy to explore if we consider the familiar way that many words can be classified as a noun or a verb according to syntax.

    You had a thought. (thought would be classified as a noun there).
    I thought that you were wrong. ( thought would be a verb there).
    Our thought patterns differed. (It can even be classified as an adjective!)


    Looking at other examples from different word classes:

    I read this on t'internet
    t' is obviously deviant spelling for THE - it is still funtioning as an article, even though the spelling is not standard.

    so:
    I would of thought this was clear now.

    of is obviously deviant spelling for 'VE
    and is still functioning as a verb (even though the spelling is the same as that used for a preposition.)
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    suzi br said:
    so:
    I would of thought this was clear now.

    of is obviously deviant spelling for 'VE
    and is still functioning as a verb (even though the spelling is the same as that used for a preposition.)
    Exactly what I've been saying-- but your post provides great context and a summation of the principal at work here.
    .
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Suzi br said:
    Hmm, this sounds convincing, but this view of grammar is one I do not agree with. Words do not belong to a word class, per se, they can only be classified as a word class according to what they are doing in a sentence ... for me the syntax defines the word-class of any given word.


    Thanks Suzi,
    That's so clear even I can see it. Great explanation.

    cuchu
     

    invictaspirit

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello everybody,
    Are expressions like "would/should/could of" as in "You should of told me" only a bad example of written English or are they acceptable in any context?

    It's really only noticable in writing. In most English accents when said at normal speed would've sounds near-identical to would of. Hence the mistake...it's an uneducated confusion...thinking would've is actually would of. It then becomes more complicated when in many BrE, AmE and AusE accents, would have is rendered woulda in fast, colloquial speech. Somehow, everyone knows it is not woulda, but would've causes confusion.

    Put simply, it's always unacceptable...but not noticable in anything other than writing. Very occasionally you might hear a not very bright teenager saying "Yes I would of!!" (etc) for emphasis (I mean you actually hear the of). But of and 've are usually said so fast you can't tell the difference.
     

    MissFit

    Senior Member
    It seems to me that it's a contraction of you + would followed by a partial pronunciation of have. I think that perhaps the best way to write it--if you really must have a correct way to write it--would be, "You'd 'ave thought that..."
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It seems to me that it's a contraction of you + would followed by a partial pronunciation of have. I think that perhaps the best way to write it--if you really must have a correct way to write it--would be, "You'd 'ave thought that..."
    That's an unorthodox way at best. I suppose somebody might use it in dialogue to convey the impression of a certain dialect or uneducated speech. As others in this thread have mentioned, there is standard way of writing this:
    "You'd 've thought that...".

    (Edited for formatting)
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It was linked to today suzi, in a new thread, and the last post might have been misleading for anyone who came here searching for enlightenment.:)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Ah, I see.
    Well I have not changed my mind on any of the things I said befor. I quite agree that just dropping the H is not the usual way of spelling the contraction of HAVE.
     
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