This really should be Pet Peeve number one, such is my hatred of it, but the top spot has already been claimed by our friend excessive punctuation, so this week, ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm (or, indeed, not-so-warm) welcome to Pet Peeve number 2: “should of/would of”.
“I should of told her I would be late tonight…”
“I would of called, but I’ve been busy…”
“I should of paid attention at school, then I wouldn’t make embarrassing mistakes like this one…”
Aargh! No! It’s should have! Would have! Not “of”! Where in the wide world do they get “of” from? Have! Have, have, have! Aargh!
Do you ever read blogs? I mean, blogs other than this one which, imperfect as it may be, is guaranteed never to use this cursed phrase? If you read blogs on a regular basis, you’ll see this one all the time: in fact, it’s become so common that I fear an entire generation is growing up with the belief that “should of” and “would of” are actually correct, and “should have” and “would have” are, in fact wrong.
Poor “have”. It’s endangered. Its dying out. Stand up with us now against the “should of/would of” brigade.” We will prevail!