a million thanks

light   Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:15 am GMT
1.(The collection of David Sylvester's writings and interviews is by no means comprehensive—there are none of the famous Bacon interviews here—and would have benefited from more entries, illustrations and a stronger introduction to the man and his work.)

Why does "would have done" used here? It is a subjunctive mood or a past future perfect tense, I think. But the collection (book) has already been finished, so it can't be a past future perfect tense. Then it should be a subjunctive mood. But I think a simple past tense should be used here.
Mary   Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:53 pm GMT
The author of this sentence is suggesting that the collection should have contained more entries, illustrations, etc. What if we use the simple past tense form as you suggest?

"The collection...benefited from more entries..."

The work did not benefit from more entries, etc. or else the author of this sentence would not suggest that those entries should have been added.

The verb in the original sentence is in the past (unreal) conditional, not the subjective mood or past future perfect tense. If the book were still being written, you the present conditional would have been used: "This collection...would benefit from more entries..."

Note that the past conditional is often accompanied by the past perfect:
"This collection *would have benefitted* if it *had included* more entries..."
Shawn   Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:49 pm GMT
When I first saw the title of this thread, I thought that it was about the expression "a million thanks". Why was it titled as such?
younurd   Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:14 am GMT
a million thanks means “狗屎”
younurd   Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:14 am GMT
a million thanks means "bullshit"