In colloquial English, I constantly run across sentences of the form:
I rather my [noun] [verb]
A quick Google search returns tons of examples:
- I rather my opponents don't find out.
- I rather my fans not read this.
- I rather my teeth froze than hurt.
- I rather my smile with the braces on.
- I rather my kids smoke pot than drink alcohol.
Looks like "rather" is on its way to becoming a verb, a synonym of "to prefer". When did that start? Obviously there are several steps to this process, from "I'd rather do X" via "I'd rather X" to "I rather X". But none of the dictionaries I have checked, from Hornby to Merriam-Webster to Cambridge to Wiktionary, seem to have picked up this usage just yet. So how recent is this phenomenon?
Edit five years later, just discovered this gem in an MMOG forum:
I would rather the team not be hard at work to fix things. I would have rathered the team be given a realistic amount of time to put together as complete a product as possible.
So the shift is nearing completion. And going by that user's posts, we're looking at a native speaker here. However, their location is unclear from their profile. Can someone supply any data on where this usage is common or spreading now?