Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

You will of??

with 10 comments

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Look at this extract from a job ad displayed online by a UK publishing (yes, publishing) company:

“Ideally you will of worked in the role and be able to carry over your experience. You must be literate in Indesign and Photoshop.”

‘Will of’??

That should, of course, be ‘will have’.

‘Will of’ is a painfully inaccurate version of ‘will’ve’ which is short for ‘will have’.

Note that this abbreviation for ‘have’ is most usually used with ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘we’, and ‘they’:

  •  I’ve: I have
  • You’ve: you have
  • We’ve: we have
  • They’ve: they have

Similarly, ‘would’ve’ (‘would have’) and ‘could’ve’ (‘could have’) should not become ‘would of’ or ‘could of’.

The ad has now been corrected. Hoorah.

With thanks to Lizi B



Written by Wordwatch

29/01/2010 at 1:47 pm

10 Responses

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  1. Who would of thought a publishing company could be so dumb?

    Michael Farrell

    29/01/2010 at 4:56 pm

    • Could of been a joke…

      …or a test for potential candidates??

      Thanks, Michael!


      29/01/2010 at 5:05 pm

  2. I’d also quibble with “literate in” graphic programs. What’s wrong with “skilled in”?

    Michael Farrell

    29/01/2010 at 5:17 pm

  3. …and while we’re at it, are they looking to employ someone who’s already worked in that post ‘Ideally you will of worked in the role …’?

    I’m thinking they mean ‘a similar role’.


    29/01/2010 at 5:33 pm

    • Yes: And “post” or “position,” not “role.” Only till June till we’re in charge, right?

      Michael Farrell

      29/01/2010 at 5:39 pm

  4. I would of thought you’d just be happy they changed the ad! Perhaps June is closer than you think…

    Maggie Manning

    30/01/2010 at 9:48 pm

    • Hi, Maggie — I was amazed to see that it had been corrected. Someone could of complained, I suppose…


      31/01/2010 at 8:36 am

  5. I thought about this some more (I know…). It must be the result of hearing “would of” and not realizing when writing it that it’s “would’ve.” Aurally, they’re very similar. It’s like mishearing “for all intensive purposes.” For some reason, I’m prepared to be a little more understanding of those sorts of mistakes.

    Michael Farrell

    31/01/2010 at 3:16 pm

    • Hi, Michael — ‘for all intensive purposes’ is funny; I’ve not come across that before.

      You’re very laid back today on the grammar front! The ‘would’ve/would of’ type of confusion is an easy mistake to make, but one to be aware of, especially when writing formally (or putting together an ad for a publishing company).


      31/01/2010 at 3:28 pm

  6. hahaha. I AM laid back! It’s Sunday? No, my laidbackitude does not extend to something that’s formally published; I just meant on Facebook or in an e-mail, say.

    Oh, you hear “for all intensive purposes” a lot in the US…. Possibly more than the correct version. (And even the correct version says nothing.)

    Michael Farrell

    31/01/2010 at 3:46 pm

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