It's odd that he should think

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Francois

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Cambridge dict said:
It's odd that she should think I would want to see her again.
It's so unfair that she should have died so young.

I think it's fine, but do you all (AE/BE) like this use of 'should' ? If not, how would you rephrase them ?

FRC
 

Taka

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I've been wondering about such "should" for a long time. What is the "core" meaning or image of "should" in the first place??

I'll be looking forward to native speakers' comments on this one.
 

Tdol

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As a BE speaker, I like it. It's hard to give a modal a core meaning, but I would say that it suggests the idea of of good vs bad. ;-)
 

Taka

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tdol said:
It's hard to give a modal a core meaning, but I would say that it suggests the idea of of good vs bad. ;-)

How does the idea of "good vs bad" relate to the "should" that Francois has given here as an example?
 

Taka

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Tdol

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I think they both have the idea- her inappropriate behaviour is being judged and in the second,the unfairness of life is being judged. ;-)
 

Francois

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I used to think it was related to the subjunctive mood:
The Queen ordered that Alice be severed.
It's unfair that Alice (should) be severed.

I'm not sure any longer that this is the same mood and that you can omit 'should' in the 2nd sentence, but well, they look alike.

FRC
 

Taka

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tdol said:
I think they both have the idea- her inappropriate behaviour is being judged and in the second,the unfairness of life is being judged. ;-)

I see. Then what about this kind of should?:

If such thing should happen, what do we do?
In case anyone should come in my absence, tell him I'll be back soon.
 

Tdol

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I did say that it was difficult to give a single core meaning, and this meaning doesn't have the good\bad idea. But then, where would we be without exceptions? ;-)
 

Taka

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tdol said:
I did say that it was difficult to give a single core meaning, and this meaning doesn't have the good\bad idea. But then, where would we be without exceptions? ;-)

Hmm...maybe it doesn't have the good/bad idea, but I thought there was some sort of "judgement" included as in other "should"s.
 
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