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06 November 2004 @ 14:50
Gone, but not forgotten  

The English subjunctive is dead. I know this because I saw it on the front page of the Toronto Sun. (I didn't actually buy a copy or anything like that; I was just walking past a rank of newspaper boxes and happened to notice it.) Now, I am well aware that you can't believe everything you read in Der Sun, but this is a special case. Der Sun was not actually reporting on the death of the subjunctive; it was reporting on the refusal of a BQ MP to supply veterans in his riding with a Canadian flag. Nevertheless, the headline on the story clearly proclaimed the demise of the subjunctive mood, in characters of a size that soberer newspapers reserve for the outbreak of a major war:

I hereby propose that everyone mark marks the passage of this noble mood with two minutes of silence.

 
 
Nuværende humør: sympatheticsouvenant
 
 
 
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 16. November, 2004 14:35 (UTC)
Re: If that were true, I should be very upset.

Part of why Der Sun got it wrong, though, is that the original Kipling line would have been exactly the same if it had been in the indicative instead—in this context, the two moods are morphologically distinct only in the third person singular. Had the subjunctive been more different more of the time, it might have lived longer.

And, as I think I may have mentioned in the original post, I'm not in the habit of reading the Toronto Sun, let alone believing it.