Post by CDB Post by firstname.lastname@example.org Post by Peter T. Daniels Post by email@example.com
1) Planes are sexy. I can see falling in love with one.
From 4:12 to 4:18
Is '1' grammatical? Is it idiomatic?
Does it mean: a) I can see myself falling in love with one.
Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
or: b) I can see people falling in love with one.
I suppose it might if there was a heck of a lot of context to
justify that interpretation. [NB not "were"]
Thank you all very much for all your replies,
Peter, does the choice between 'was' or 'were' entail a difference in
meaning? It seems to me that 'were' implies a higher degree of
improbability. Is that correct?
It seems to me that this "was" is an example of the common use of the
past indicative where the irrrealis past subjunctive "were" would be
preferred by a minority. I sometimes do that myself in speech, but not
(deliberately) in writing.
I'm a subjunctive-user, which is why I pointed out that I did not
intend a subjunctive form, and then explained why the situation
didn't call for a subjunctive.
Post by CDB
In formal writing I think that, if the indicative were intended, the
verb in the main clause would be "might have [meant]".
No; the question was "Does it mean ...?" not "Did it mean ...?" If
arthur-Navi had asked "Did it mean ...?" I would have answered "It
might have (meant) ..., if ...." But "Did it mean ...?" would be an
odd thing to ask -- as if its meaning might have changed since.