Welcome back to the ETC blog after a super-sunny weekend on the South Coast. Last week we were considering ‘will, shall and ‘ll’ and what leads people to choose one over another. What led me to consider this was the general misapprehension that ‘will’ is the future tense in English, a theory often promoted in British schools. I think I’ve possibly even heard Stephen Fry refer to it as ‘the future tense’ in one of his TV programmes. (I’m probably wrong!) Then again, it’s only a name and the Great Stevie’s not an English language teacher at ETC Bournemouth.
In his book ‘Punished By Rewards’,1993, Alfie Kohn states: “There is a time to admire the grace and persuasive power of an influential idea, and there is a time to fear its hold over us. The time to worry is when the idea is so widely shared that we no longer even notice it, when it is so deeply rooted that it feels like plain common sense. At the point when objections are not answered anymore because they are no longer even raised, we are not in control: We do not have the idea, it has us.”
Whoa! Heavy stuff eh, and surely this has more serious implications that just ‘little ole will.’ Well, yes you’re right. ‘Will’, ‘Shall’ are ‘ll is always based at the point ‘now’ so can be used to express how you’re feeling about something whether before or after ‘now’. Take this example: “Oh that son of mine! He will always drop me in it!” and “She left here at 1pm and the journey takes two hours. Now it’s nearly six o’clock so she’ll be there by now.” See what I mean? In an earlier blog I spoke about the ‘fate’ factor and how my grandmother would always follow any future reference with ‘God Willing’.
Bye for now, have a nice week. I’ll speak again next week! (God Willing!)