Let me show you :
The difference between indicative and counterfactual conditionals, in a context of past time reference, can be illustrated with a pair of examples in which the if clause is in the past indicative in the first example but in the pluperfect subjunctive in the second:
- If Oswald did not shoot Kennedy, then someone else did.
- If Oswald had not shot Kennedy, then someone else would have.
The protasis (the if clause) of the first sentence may or may not be true according to the speaker, so the apodosis (the then clause) also may or may not be true; the apodosis is said by the speaker to be true if the protasis is true. In this sentence the if clause and the then clause are both in the past tense of the indicative mood. In the second sentence, the speaker is speaking with a certainty that Oswald did shoot Kennedy (according to the speaker, the protasis is false), and therefore the main clause deals with the counterfactual result — what would have happened. In this sentence the if clause is in the pluperfect subjunctive form of the subjunctive mood, and the then clause is in the conditional perfect form of the conditional mood.
So let's admire the fine bottle of wineii : had you any idea that there's words for those types of sentences ? Protasis and apodosis ? Isn't it great, isn't it empowering and liberating and doesn't it just feel... clean, freshly showered clean, to be able to call things by their name rather than by description and periphrasis ? Isn't it great to find English mention of things such as the pluperfect subjunctive, without which a language is merely a predictive macula of civilisationaliii failure and which English actually does have, but no ignorant UStardian ever uses ? Isn't it splendid to see the nonsense of "tense" correctly and gracefully articulated in relation to the always ignored moodiv ?
I tell you, fine wine.
And then, behold the sewage drop :
In the second sentence, the speaker is speaking with a certainty that Oswald did shoot Kennedy (according to the speaker, the protasis is false)
First off, the proposition isn't true. It's false.v There's nothing in there indicating what "the speaker" thinks on the topic. Second off, the presence of the paranthesis shows that the writer knew this. The motherfucking writer knew he was wrong, he knew he's writing down something false, he knew it.
So what did he do ? Why, he restated it. You can use this handy stupidity detector on your teachers, by the way, if you have the misfortune of still being trapped in some sort of English language "education" program : whenever your "teacher" does this restatement thing, he's lying and he knows he's lying. He's just made the deliberate, malicious choice to try to get you to be as stupid, dirty and contemptible as he is. With quite with that purpose in mind, he's trying to breed you for failure. To limit your opportunities. To sabotage your future. And all this because he is lazy, and rather than clean the shit between his eyes he'd much prefer to simply smear yours similarly. That's what that is.
And that's no doubt the part where the wikitards contributed. This is why wikitardia is not now, never was and never could ever be an encyclopedia, no matter what the fuck happens. Because one bottle of fine wine (stolen) to which you add one drop of sewage water (self produced) comes to one bottle and a drop of sewage water.
This is what wikipedia is : gallons upon gallons of sewage water, that mostly started their life as fine wine in other people's cellars, which some idiots stole, then poured into a puddle they had pissed into. And now they're all huddled around it, spazzing in the dust and painting their faces with the resulting mud. That's wikipedia, and that's why it has no place in civilised company.———
- By the way, what do you get for a google search after "special olympics for the mentally retarded" ? Is it a 1987 Sports Illustrated article followed by a Trilema article followed by Chicago Tribune ? [↩]
- Which fine bottle of wine the peditards clearly must have stolen from somewhere, and predictably omit to functionally state from where. Because this is how idiocy thinks things work, or to quote an older article aptly titled Romanul si marea (the idiot and the sea) :
Deci : ati gasit undeva un ceva exceptional. Un tezaur. Uite bine, mergeati voi pe drum si ati gasit un tezaur. Ce-i de facut ?
Pai, fata cu aceasta intimplare, unii oameni procedeaza in felul urmator : dau fuga in oras, aduna lumea si explica “dom’le, am gasit o chestie minunata, asa si pe dincolo, hai sa mergem s-o adunam, s-o punem in muzeu, s-o putem admira, sa discutam ce si cum, sa ramina si urmasilor sa poata cistiga si ei de pe urma zisului tezaur”. Alti… ma rog, sa zicem oameni in virtutea bipedalismului, procedeaza in alt fel : baga doua cu ciocanu’ sa desparta chestiile alea in ceva ce pot ei baga in buzunar, dupa care si le monteaza pe caruta. Chit ca alea nu-s facute sa mearga la carute, si nici nu ajuta caruta nicicum, taranetele sade mindru pe capra. Iara daca-l intreaba cineva de unde le are, ca parca nu se prea potrivesc cu el, tarantelele raspunde mindru : le-o crescut el de cind erau pistol.
Or in another language,
So : you have found somewhere something exceptional. A treasure trove. Looky, you were just walking down the road and found a chestful of wonder. What to do ?
Well, confronted with such an occurence, some people proceed in the following manner : they run off to town, gather the folk and explain : "looky, I've found this chestful of wonder, so and so and back and forth, let's go pick it up, stick it in a museum, so it may be inspected, admired, discussed, preserved for future generations so they may also gain by the said wonders". Other... let's call them people by virtue of bipedalism, proceed in a different manner : they cloink a coupla with the sledgehammer so as to break down the find into shards the size they can fit in a pocket, after which they stick it on their oxcart. Nevermind that those things aren't made to go with oxcarts, nor do they help the oxcart in any way, the peon sits proudly on his pile of dung. And if anyone asks where he found the things, for they don't really go with his general appearance, he answers just as proudly : he raised them since they were but pistols.
(This is an ancient joke, saying that a gypsy is picked up for stealing a rifle. Before the judge, he sees a farmer brought under charges of having stolen a cow. "Why've you stolen the cow ?" asks the judge. "I've not stolen it your Honor, I raised it myself since it were a calf". He's eventually released, and when the gypsy's turn comes, "Why've you stolen the rifle ?" asks the judge. "I've not stolen it your honor, I raised it myself since it were a pistol".)
- The idea being that a civilisation (ie, the structured and meaningful aggregate of material objects produced by a population) can not survive without an equally strong culture (ie, the structured and meaningful aggregate of the ideal objects produced by a population) and the absent subjunctive being a linguistic mark of cultural failure, it predicts civilisational collapse in due time. [↩]
- If you read Romanian, here's me disestablishing the entire Romanian academy in one short article : Hai sa studiem gramatica impreuna [↩]
- Consider the case of Schroedinger's cat :
If the cat had died in the box, then it wouldn't have come out alive. If however the cat hadn't died in the box, then it wouldn't have come out dead.
While the construction is grammatically sound, there's a logical impossibility barring me from having any particularly strong convictions about the situation of the cat while in the box, which truly displays for your learning benefit the power of the counterfactual structure.
It's just sad that I have to fight fire with fire so to speak, namely that I have to use a nail that was driven into your head to pluck another nail that was also driven into your head. It'd be much better if you could simply notice the nail by description, because this last approach at least in principle permits that you may one day be left without nails embedded in your skull. The former process guarantees such a final state is impossible. [↩]