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  1. #1

    I want you should ...

    Another question about Edith Wharton's novel, Summer. To me, there seems to be something wrong ... perhaps not wrong, strange rather ... with the sentence: I want you should get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me at the library. I have never come across the phrase I want you should before.

    "Why do you want to get away?"

    Her contempt flashed out. "Do you suppose anybody'd stay at North Dormer
    if they could help it? You wouldn't, folks say!"

    With lowered head he asked: "Where'd you go to?"

    "Anywhere where I can earn my living. I'll try here first, and if I
    can't do it here I'll go somewhere else. I'll go up the Mountain if I
    have to." She paused on this threat, and saw that it had taken effect.
    "I want you should get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me at the
    library: and I want a woman here in the house with me," she repeated.

    Mr. Royall had grown exceedingly pale ...


    Comments please!

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    #2

    Re: I want you should ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caorthine View Post
    Another question about Edith Wharton's novel, Summer. To me, there seems to be something wrong ... perhaps not wrong, strange rather ... with the sentence: I want you should get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me at the library. I have never come across the phrase I want you should before.

    "Why do you want to get away?"

    Her contempt flashed out. "Do you suppose anybody'd stay at North Dormer
    if they could help it? You wouldn't, folks say!"

    With lowered head he asked: "Where'd you go to?"

    "Anywhere where I can earn my living. I'll try here first, and if I
    can't do it here I'll go somewhere else. I'll go up the Mountain if I
    have to." She paused on this threat, and saw that it had taken effect.
    "I want you should get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me at the
    library: and I want a woman here in the house with me," she repeated.

    Mr. Royall had grown exceedingly pale ...


    Comments please!
    Should expresses expectation in your sentence.

  2. #3

    Re: I want you should ...

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Should expresses expectation in your sentence.
    Hm, maybe, but in that case, what would be the exakt function of the verb want? Do people really use it when they expect something? Well, I'm sorry but I still don't get the overall sentence, within the context, I mean. And what about the preposition at in connection with the verb take? That also doesn't seem quite right.

    I want you should get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me at the library

    .

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I want you should ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caorthine View Post
    Hm, maybe, but in that case, what would be the exakt function of the verb want? Do people really use it when they expect something? Well, I'm sorry but I still don't get the overall sentence, within the context, I mean. And what about the preposition at in connection with the verb take? That also doesn't seem quite right.

    I want you should get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me at the library

    .
    I don't know the novel, but I'd guess that the speaker's first language is not English. The natural English way of expressing this would be 'I want you to get [someone] to take me to the library.' Moreover, if the speaker's L1 was French (as seems possible, because of the French preference for the use of the subjunctive in such cases, and using for both 'to' and 'at'), she may have meant bookstore (Am Eng) / bookshop (Br Eng) and not 'library'.

    b

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    #5

    Re: I want you should ...

    PS

    I see from another quote you've posted that the speaker got the libraire/library faux ami right.

    b

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    #6

    Re: I want you should ...

    "I want you should..." is a fairly common dialect construction in many parts of the US. There are lots of unusual uses of modals in dialects of American English. I've even heard this sentence: "I used to could do that, and I might could still."

    Wharton's novel takes place in New England (Northeastern USA) in the early part of the twentieth-century, which is where and when Wharton lived. She would have been very familiar with the vernacular of the people she was writing about.

  5. #7

    Re: I want you should ...

    I want you should get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me at the library

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    "I want you should..." is a fairly common dialect construction in many parts of the US. There are lots of unusual uses of modals in dialects of American English. I've even heard this sentence: "I used to could do that, and I might could still."

    Wharton's novel takes place in New England (Northeastern USA) in the early part of the twentieth-century, which is where and when Wharton lived. She would have been very familiar with the vernacular of the people she was writing about.
    Well, though I'm not a native English speaker I knew that there was something 'strange' about the sentence. And yes, the novel takes place in a mountainous (somewhat backwater) area of New England in the early part of the twentieth-century, and the speaker is a young woman growing up in a small village up in the mountains. Therefore, she is not french , but rather speaking vernacularly.

    However, my original question still stands. What the heck does it mean? Does it mean what BobK suggests, i.e.: 'I want you to get Miss Hatchard and the selectmen to take me to the library'? If this is the case, it doesn't make sense with regards to the content, at least not complete sense. The speaker, a young woman who works part time at the small village library has been accused by some people of not doing her job properly. She is a proud young woman and is upset and has threatened to quit because she thinks that she has been wrongfully accused (by the above mentioned Miss Hatchard). That she should want her, and the selectmen, to take her to the library doesn't make any sense at all. She doesn't need anyone to take her to the library, it is just down the road.

    If you are familiar with this kind of vernacular expressions, mykwyner, what would you say the sentence means. A rewrite, perhaps?!

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I want you should ...

    If there's any chance of a sexual connotation? - that would explain the use of "at". Is Miss Hatchard a bit of an old stick, who resents the young woman because she attracts male customers for reasons other than bibliophilia?

    b

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    #9

    Re: I want you should ...

    Caorthine:

    If you tell me what chapter of the book this passage is from, Ill read it and "translate" it for you.

    Mike

  7. #10

    Re: I want you should ...

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    If there's any chance of a sexual connotation? - that would explain the use of "at". Is Miss Hatchard a bit of an old stick, who resents the young woman because she attracts male customers for reasons other than bibliophilia?

    b
    Well, probably not BobK ...

    And, mykwyner, the excerpt is from chapter 2, towards the end of it.

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