0
votes
2answers
70 views

Why is English grammar so basic? [closed]

I understand that the essence of my question requires a good deal of historical context, and I am fine with this... Having taken three semesters of Spanish, which naturally required that I understand ...
-2
votes
1answer
55 views

What did the word “arcade” mean before video games? [closed]

I was browsing a document on the history of Leicestershire in the UK. About halfway down the page, in the "Leicester in the 19th Century" section, it said: Silver Arcade was built in 1899. What ...
11
votes
2answers
175 views

Art cold? To what extent can pronouns be dropped in English?

Many European languages conjugate their verbs, thus: I am You are | Thou art She is We are You are They are The form of the verb changes, depending on the person. In some languages ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Is “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” still considered ungrammatical?

I was reading The Tipping Point this morning, and the author spoke of how Winston's slogan in the 1950s that went "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should" was very memorable because of its ...
105
votes
3answers
4k views

Where were “should”, “shall”, and “must” in the 18th Century?

According to the following Google Ngram, in the U.K. the modals should, shall, and must were virtually missing from English writing during the 18th Century (I've added will for a comparison modal ...
5
votes
5answers
6k views

Can one say “I should like” rather than “I would like”? Is the former grammatical?

My focus here is on the should in the sentence fragment "I should very much like...". Why is it there in place of would? It seems strange that should is used in the subjunctive mood there -- is it ...
1
vote
2answers
762 views

The grammatical strangeness of “done me wrong” and “did me service”

Why are "done me wrong" and "did me service" established phrases instead of the more standard "He wronged me" and "He serviced [helped] me"? EDIT: I just realized whatever connection I saw with ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Have grammar rules changed through the history of the English language?

When I want to know what form a word has say in 12th century (end Old English, begin Middle English), 14th century (end Middle English), or any other time in England history, I only need to track the ...