Is it ‘should of’ or ‘should have’? Eggsellent advice contained herein.

Punny WhatsApp conversation with a friend

❓ Why am I sharing this WhatsApp screenshot with you?

1️⃣ To answer the question: what do proofreaders have for lunch?

2️⃣ To demonstrate that I’m a proofreader with a winning sense of humour?

3️⃣ To give my international followers a taste of a British classic, as good in flavour as it is in onomatopoeia?

4️⃣ To show that I have rudimentary knowledge of French?

5️⃣ To provide a learning opportunity about should of vs should have?

Can’t it be all of the above?

1. For lunch, this proofreader likes leftovers of the previous night’s evening meal. They always taste better the next day. 👩‍🍳

2. I’ll let you be the judge of that… 😆

3. Bubble and squeak, so called because that’s the sound it makes in the pan, is a fry-up of leftovers from the previous day’s roast dinner. Mine was a bit of beef, some potatoes, a few carrots, some cabbage and a bit of gravy. The food of champions! 🇬🇧

4. Yep, I know some French. I studied it until I was about 20. I’m rather rusty now, but I still know en’oeuf! 🥚

5. Let’s keep it professional and on brand: here we go…

👩‍🏫 When you hear people say the shortened version of the modal phrase ‘should have’, you’re actually hearing should’ve ✅ NOT should of ❌. (OK, maybe some people are saying should of, and in speech, they’re allowed to. Most of us say all sorts of words in non-standard ways.) BUT, in writing, use should HAVE. The same goes for could HAVE, might HAVE, will HAVE, etc.

And, to circle back to the WhatsApp message:

🍳 “Pop an egg on it. Self-saucing.” That’s a catchphrase of my dear friend. Everything can be improved with an egg, so she says. Even a blog post?

Published by clairecherryedits Indie Fiction Specialist. Line Editing. Copy Editing. Proofreading.

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