Which is correct: “what if there was” or “what if there were”?
Someone recently posted to meta.stackoverflow.com about a plural bug on Area 51, writing
...it doesn't effect [sic] the functionality of the site, but it'd be nice if the grammar was correct...
I jokingly pointed out that he meant "It would be nice if the grammar were correct."
The user Gilles commented
...you picked something that's actually not an error... you don't have to use the subjunctive, the indicative is also correct.
That's not my understanding at all, but I've never studied grammar. We're dealing with a speculative/conditional future, the subjunctive is required, isn't it?
I recognize that language is a living thing, and that in English our use of the subjunctive is decreasing. But surely the indicative is not correct in this case? At least not yet?