The Use of MIGHT

I watched “The Queen” on Friday evening, a film from 2006 about the UK Royal Family’s reaction to the very sad death of Princess Diana. Full of drama and a fantastic Helen Mirren as the Queen, you can learn some very nice and posh British accents in the film. It also reminded me of the wonderful language of persuasion that the Prime Minister Tony Blair used to persuade the Queen to return to London and address the public, which she was very reluctant to do.

I think the Brits use a special language to suggest or persuade someone to do something – vague language. We don’t particularly like being told what to do (one reason for Brexit) so, if we hear vague language, it gives us the opportunity to say no more easily. It is a polite way of signaling that you are making suggestions, not demands, and giving each other the chance to make alternative suggestions or say no without losing face.

What do I mean by this? Well, in the film, Tony Blair (played by a brilliant Michael Sheen) might have said “Your Majesty, you might like to think about returning to London and speaking to the people. They might appreciate it.”

Might as a noun interestingly means power and the Almighty is a term referring to God. There are actually quite a few uses of “might”:

Might — English Grammar Today — Cambridge Dictionary

You might like to look at them J.

PS. Isn’t this a nice photo of Buckingham Palace?

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