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  1. #11
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: He was lying, not waiting for the twilight but just keeping quiet until it should

    My sense here is that should is used to give some idea of eventuality. In other words, it means something like 'in the event that'. I believe the effect of such extrinsic possibility creates some doubt that the twilight will ever come. In his mind, there is a faint idea that he may be lying there forever.

    I'm not confident my sense is right, however. If not, I have no other way of understanding it.

  2. #12
    constantinusphilo is offline Junior Member
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    Re: He was lying, not waiting for the twilight but just keeping quiet until it should

    I think that 'should' here is calquing the Latin subjunctive in similar grammar patterns (Bowles must have had his share of it as most of his generation). Thus, in Latin It would be something like Cubebat exspectans donec adveniat diluculum/ i.e. he was lying until twilight should come.

  3. #13
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: He was lying, not waiting for the twilight but just keeping quiet until it should

    Lying in wait? For what?
    Not a professional teacher

  4. #14
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: He was lying, not waiting for the twilight but just keeping quiet until it should

    Quote Originally Posted by constantinusphilo View Post
    I think that 'should' here is calquing the Latin subjunctive in similar grammar patterns (Bowles must have had his share of it as most of his generation). Thus, in Latin It would be something like Cubebat exspectans donec adveniat diluculum/ i.e. he was lying until twilight should come.
    Yes, you might be right. I was thinking something similar.

  5. #15
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: He was lying, not waiting for the twilight but just keeping quiet until it should

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    My sense here is that should is used to give some idea of eventuality. In other words, it means something like 'in the event that'. I believe the effect of such extrinsic possibility creates some doubt that the twilight will ever come. In his mind, there is a faint idea that he may be lying there forever.

    I'm not confident my sense is right, however. If not, I have no other way of understanding it.
    I agree that that's usually the case, and I wouldn't use it the way Bowles does. But the way he used it there seems to serve his purpose.

    Go figure.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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