For Eye and Tongue

On the internet, everybody knows you're a dog

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apolloadama replied to your post:

you could say like “i wish for you to fall in the mud” or “i wish for you to not fall in the mud”

Yeah, that’s about the best I can do too. Kinda clunky, though.

apolloadama replied to your text post 

nah it’s 100% subjunctive to me so it always takes “wouldn’t” instead of “won’t”/”don’t”

That fits my intuition, yeah. Interestingly, the data for this actually comes from one of my girlfriend’s fourth-graders — it sounded wonky to her, but she couldn’t figure out why. (So she quite logically turned to her linguist boyfriend, who was similarly stumped.) I guess it’s just one more piece of evidence that the subjunctive is on its way out of this language.

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jazzmoth replied to your post:

Levin (93) puts “wish” in the following categories: Dative Alternation, “long” verbs (not length, but verb like “to long”); while “hope” only falls into the category of “long” verbs. I like your explanation. (And my answer is no, I can’t!)

Hmm. I don’t think the dative alternation is relevant, because there isn’t a dative construction here — I *think* that’s just meant to indicate that you could rephrase “I wished her goodnight” as “I wished goodnight to her.”

I could be wrong, though… I am not particularly syntacticky, as these posts are probably showing.

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wuqs asked: "I wish that you won't fall in the mud" is the closest I could get, but it sounds slightly off to me. but note: "I wished you wouldn't fall in the mud." To me, that expresses a negative future desire with no habitual nature, just in the past tense. My syntax knowledge base doesn't have the semantics background for your first question, though.

Yeah, I could definitely say that yesterday I wished you wouldn’t fall in the mud. I just can’t seem to express that wish in the present tense. “I wish that you won’t fall in the mud” sounds off to me, too.

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justfuckingnougat asked: I think you're right about wish selecting subjunctive. However for some reason "I wish you didn't fall in the mud" also sounds correct to me, if not necessarily semantically identical.

Yeah, I would probably say “I wish you hadn’t fallen in the mud,” but “I wish you didn’t fall in the mud” sounds almost as good. I agree that they don’t have the same reading as “I wish/hope you don’t fall in the mud,” though, where you’re expressing a desire for a (negative) future.

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