Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Verbs in the news again! The hortatory subjunctive

Check out this from Talking Points Memo, with the following headline:
When In Trouble, Blame The Hortatory Subjunctive
It follows, of course, on the heels of all the posts on Language Log and elsewhere about 'passive tense' and such. The quote in question was:
Until extensive rehabilitation of their performance occurs, they will not be getting promoted and will not be getting bonuses or special awards or anything of that nature.
The speaker claimed she meant to 'invoke the hortatory subjunctive' here. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) is quoted as calling this "common future tense".

I know that the pros over at Language Log will pick this up, so let's just leave it to them.


Anonymous said...

Jussive a minute here. It is desiderative that the hortatory sujunctive survive, let us hope.

Long live the surviving subjunctive, let it be! But let it not be in the future!

Mr. Verb said...


Ollock said...

Hortatory subjunctive? Funny, the name that I get for it is longer. Future progressive in passive voice?

Mr. Verb said...

Right, it's pretty funny that Sarbanes calls it 'common future tense' when we've got so much going on here.