Woulda, shoulda, coulda

I think should, would, and could are problem words. Allow me to explain. (First post!)

"Should" came up when I read this quote "I don't think we need to crave difference or be horrified by similarity." from this weblog entry which cited the original entry. What I hear from this comment is people saying "you should do this" or "you should feel this way." Wrong, wrong, wrong. I can jump into an excited dicussion of left-wing politics versus moral consensus and - well, no, I can't. And won't. Thank me later. What I can comment on is the stupidity of telling someone how they should feel ("Oh, you have a computer and make more than the average wage? You should feel bad about the digital divide and exploiting (insert popular cheap-labor company here)'s workers with your rampant consumerism!"). Where is the request that I look at someone's data and opinion, instead of being told to feel a certain way.

Like I said, first post. I'll get better. And I didn't read the actual source, just the excerpts and comments. The Basque scare me.

"Would" is overused and under-understood. "I would like to thank you" is a cop-out. "I thank you" is what you wanted to say, meant to say, but have the verba-dental issue of mealy-mouth. "I would like to thank you for your hospitality but your accomodations were disgustingly pitiful" is when you should use "would."

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Tue 14 January 2003.