So, what to have as the first post in The Agora...?
How about something which I know drives me potty, seems to have become more and more commonplace, and to which a lot of people seem completely oblivious?
And that is: should of vs. should have
The phrase should of in the context 'Mum should of gone to Iceland' is meaningless and incorrect. Would you say 'I of gone to Iceland'? No, me neither.
So where has this come from, why is it used and why is it wrong?
It is most likely that the horror phrase should of arose out of the very similarly pronounced should've, a contraction of should have, indicating a missed opportunity or obligation in the past.
'I should have (should've) put the bins out on Tuesday', not 'I should of put the bins out on Tuesday'.
For my tuppence worth, it seems that should of is heard more and more on TV, especially in soaps (duh duh, duhduh, duhduhduhduh, anyone?). Combine this with the emergence of textspeak (or txtspk) in the written word and the fact that it seems to be rarely corrected, and we have a perfect should of storm. I should of got the washing in...
Any comments, ideas or suggestions are most welcome, don't be shy.
Just mind your ps and qs!