I wrote a sentence:
1." True, a pretty simple model was used, one involving 300 neurons of a creature that hardly anyone would like to have as a pet - a worm, for goodness sake!
Then I re-wrote it:
- "True, a pretty simple model was used, one involving 300 neurons of a creature that hardly would anyone like to have as a pet - a worm, for goodness sake!
(here we have inversion in a clause beginning with "hardly")
- Does the first sentence look as normal speech?
- Does the second sentence look as normal speech?
- Hardly ever will you get this kind of inversion in colloquial speech (rather than in formal writing), will you?
PS. By inversion I mean subject-auxiliary inversion when two words change (an auxiliary verb/operator and subject); I used it (in sentence 2) because "hardly" is an adverb having negative force.
"Answer #3: Never in either case, the inversion is simply incorrect.
Why? An answer to this question implies making a distinction between two styles, formal style and informal speech, and considering the two sentences from two different viewpoints.