I Wish I Were

When we send a post into the blogosphere, we want to make sure our best feet are forward. That means…

When we send a post into the blogosphere, we want to make sure our best feet are forward. That means making sure errors like typos or poor grammar don’t detract from what we have to say; it’s one of the reasons The Daily Post highlights common grammar struggles.  Grammar challenges follow up on grammar posts, calling on you to put your new-found understanding to the test.

To participate, tag your posts with “DPchallenge” or leave a link to your post in the comments. (It would also be great if you could link to this post to encourage people to take part – the more the merrier!) Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed each Friday.

Last week, our grammar guru, Daryl, talked about the oft-mysterious subjunctive mood in If Hairs Be Wires, Black Wires Grow on Her Head. Use of the subjunctive mood isn’t as common in English as it is in other languages. I, for one, hadn’t even heard of the subjunctive tense until my first French class in middle school. (I blame the ’90’s hit song, I Wishwhat with its improper use of the subjunctive and all. “I wish I was a little bit taller”? Tsk, tsk.)

As Daryl mentioned in his post, the most common uses of the subjunctive mood in English are conditions, suppositions, wishes, demands, suggestions, and statements of necessity. At least once in our lives, we’ve all muttered, “I just wish I were…” or “If I were more like…”, knowingly or unknowingly invoking the subjunctive mood.

In honor of Daryl’s post, we ask you to finish the following sentence for this week’s writing challenge: “I wish I were.” Do you wish you were able to go back and visit that beautiful country you saw 10 years ago on vacation? Or do you wish you were more like a superhero and could reads minds as a special power? Or maybe you wish you were a famous writer, so you could share your voice with the world? (And if so, what would you want to say if you knew the world would listen?) The sky is the limit, so dream big and let us know what you wish for. Just don’t forget to use what we learned. It’s “I wish I were,” not “I wish I was”!

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    1. I wish I were able to “freshly pressed” all the excellent pieces, I have read thus far but I can’t. I don’t think WordPress can either, there are so many of us writing and so many good pieces.
      The competition is tough.

      I believe the selection is done like a lottery but with judging. The best of those which that are drawn get the stamp.

      So the onus is on us to encourage each other. Everytime we read a excellent one, we should find time to more than ‘like pressed’ the posts. We should add a comment, even if it is a few words and we can recommend it to others. Below is a link to a really good one which I have recently read.



  1. I wish were on the top of the Himalayas not caught in the eye of a frightening storm named SANDY in NY! Keep us all in your prayers! Will work on a post before the electricity goes… TY! 🙂


    1. Correction: I wish I were on top of the Himalayas Mountains, not caught in the eye of a frightening storm (named SANDY) in NY! Keep us all in your prayers! Will work on a post before the electricity goes… TY! 🙂


      1. You know, I really can’t agree with that statement. I’m 36 right now… and somehow, I have gained a new appreciation for dubstep. It might be because a co-worker was a big fan, and he introduced me to some great variations (liquid bass, for example). But more than anything, I’ve always been a fan of instrumental pieces, whether classical or the big band in the 40’s or Help Alpert’s stuff, and dubstep is really not that big of a stretch from those earlier innovations. I guess I’m weird like that.


    1. Oh.. I agree… my husband often jokes with me… saying that I’m ‘stuck’ in the 80s… you’re so right… Boy, is that what happens when one crosses 40? We turn into these ‘nostalgic creatures’? :o)


    2. I totally agree! In fact much of the music even my kids listen to on radio disney are remakes (even if it’s only a sample) of that music we came to love and appreciate from the 80s & 90s when music was still raw and un-autotuned.


  2. ‘I wish I was a spaceman, the fastest guy alive …’
    The opening line to the theme tune of Gerry Anderson’s 1960s TV series, Fireball XL5. Fondly remembered by a generation of baby boomers, but gramatically incorrect.
    Did the songwriter (Barry Gray) know? Did he care?

    When Barry sang of Fireball’s flight
    with Venus fair and planets brightly
    shining, he pondered not the
    mood of verbs,
    cared nothing for the teacher’s
    terse and scolding words.

    Subjunctive? Don’t ask me,
    try Robert, the robot will know.
    We’ve more exciting things
    to learn, places to go,
    a whole universe to explore.

    And if he were able to go back
    in time, thesaurus in hand,
    to reconsider that line?

    I don’t think he’d change a single word.

    Mike Wright – 2012


    1. Actually, this is more in keeping with the theme:

      I wish I were
      I wish I might
      I wish there were stars tonight

      I wish I were
      I wish I may
      I wish this storm were gone today


  3. Wonderful idea in keeping with my recent rant about dictionary.com’s blog on whether we ought to dispense with the word “whom”! I will really enjoy conjuring up something loaded with subjunctives, like a basket full of apples. 🙂 I am not part of the “grammar police”, but I do so love the structure of the English language upon which we can hang our ideas.


  4. I wish I were along the New England coastline, anywhere between Wallis Sands Beach (Rye, New Hampshire) and Lamoine Beach (East Lamoine, Maine on Frenchman Bay) or in Middletown, Rhode Island at the boat dock, to observe (at a safe distance) the surging tides of Hurricane Sandy.( Why Name Storm ‘Hurricane Sandy’? )


  5. I wish I could be on a beach were its warm and beautiful. The sound of the ocean and the waves. I wish hurricane Sandy would go away.


  6. I wish I were lying at Gaya’s bosom, feeling what she feels, seeing though her eyes the ruin of her creation, understanding that what I do to her I do to myself.


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