Write It Right: Had Better for Would Better

Had better for Would better. This is not a defensible as an idiom, as those who always used it before their attention was directed to it take the trouble to point out. It comes of such contractions as he’d for he would, I’d for I would. These clipped words are erroneously restored as ‘he had,’ ‘I had.’ So we have such monstrosities as ‘He had better beware,’ ‘I had better go.’”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.