Could of, should of, would of
I’ve been wanting to write about ‘could of, should of, would of’ for a while. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m a language purist, not a language fascist, and I am interested (amongst other things) in the way language changes through its use.
‘Could of, should of, would of’ is a very good case in point. When I first read ‘I should of seen it coming’ instead of ‘I should’ve seen it coming’ I was convinced it was incorrect. After all, ‘of’ is a preposition (or rather, an adposition) and in ‘should’ve’ , the ‘ve’ is a contraction of ‘have’. I.e. ‘ve’ and ‘of’ have nothing in common, apart from (mabye) their pronunciation.
Anyhow, some months after my first encounter with ‘should of’ (and its siblings ‘could of’ and ‘would of’), I read somewhere that it’s now in fact gramatically correct to use these forms, i.e. in writing. Thus, incorrect terms via common usage have become correct. The reason for my post is to (hopefully) collate some more information on this matter – I couldn’t find any good discussion on ‘could of, should of, would of’, apart from the links below:
This guy here claims these forms are incorrect.
Here‘s a linguist’s take on the matter.
What do you guys think? Is it correct or incorrect? Any supporting evidence welcome.
PS: I’d also be interested in the differences between AE and BE regarding the matter. I see it a lot in BE; however, I don’t read much AE at all so I wouldn’t know how common this problem is in AE.