Russians create artificial human brain

Dan Drake dd at
Tue Apr 17 14:15:47 EST 2001

On Mon, 16 Apr 2001 22:33:10, Martin Sewell <M.Sewell at> wrote:

> On Mon, 16 Apr 2001 21:41:32 GMT, mark edward hardwidge
> <hardwidg at> wrote:
> >In David Ehrens <nospam at> wrote:
> >> Most journalists would have used the subjunctive, "were".
> >
> >	I'm kind of stupid.  Could you remind me of exactly when we
> >use "was" and when we use "were"?  Some cases are obvious to me, but
> >not all.
> "If I was a hopeless cad, I apologize."
> "If I were a hopeless cad, I would never apologize."

Outstanding.  Then there's Thurber's version:

Man comes home unexpectedly, suspects that his friend Bill was there just 
before, starts arguing with his wife, says,
"By God, if Bill _was_ here..."
and she replies,
"Well, what would you do if he _were_?

The misplaced subjunctive makes him start tearing up all the closets in 
search of Bill.

Dan Drake
dd at

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