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Thread: should

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    #1

    should

    Hi

    Why
    should human history be such a terrible saga of violence and oppression?

    --- Does it mean: Why human history is such a terrible saga of violence and oppression? OR MAYBE :Why human history was ... ?


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    #2

    Re: should

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    Why
    should human history be such a terrible saga of violence and oppression?

    --- Does it mean: Why human history is such a terrible saga of violence and oppression? OR MAYBE :Why human history was ... ?

    In my view, neither is nor was, rather:
    Why had human history to be such a terrible ...
    Why must human history be such a terrible ...
    How come human history had to be such a terrible ...
    How come human history ought to be such a terrible ...

    I think the speaker observes that "human history is such a terrible ... " and wonders whether that condition is (should be) mandatory.

    PS Not a native speaker

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: should

    Given that the speaker obviously agrees it was a terrible saga, it doesn't matter much which interpretation we give to "Why should..." It's a not that the saga is hypothetical, it's that the speaker is expressing some doubt about the reasons we can ascribe to it. Eve though he is going to try, he wants to be prudent.

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    #4

    Re: should

    Personally I understand it like ymnisky suggested: Why must human history be such a terrible ... ?

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