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  1. keannu's Avatar
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      • South Korea
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      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
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    #1

    Who would have thought,

    Does this Who would have thought denote presumption or counterfactual hypothesis? I think the former, but can't exclude the possibility of the latter. If it is the latter, the writer might be strongly arguing no one thought so in the past.

    33. Who would have thought, 20 years ago, that a box made out of plastic and glass would ruin the manners of millions of people? We know about the digital miracles brought by the smartphone. But one of its biggest influences on our lives is the sudden breaking of standards of etiquette in less than a decade. These days, many smartphone owners check Twitter during a conversation and do not consider it impolite. This usually takes place while someone else is talking: a friend, colleague or boss. Younger smartphone users even have learned the art of texting one person while they themselves are talking to another.

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      • American English
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      • United States
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    #2

    Re: Who would have thought,

    No one in the past thought that.

    "Who would have thought?" is meant rhetorically. The "answer" to the question is "no one."

  2. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #3

    Re: Who would have thought,

    Thanks, so it's rhetorical presumption, isn't it?

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