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Hi,

A couple of months ago, some of you advised me against using Google to check my grammar. Now, I know we've already been through this, but it still bothers me when Google returns few or no hits for a phrase or sentence structure of mine. It always causes to lose confidence in my abilities... Take a look at the following diatribe:

"For the love of God, put your shoes back on! I don't care how dirty they are! I'd rather there was a little dirt on my floor than have to put up with the foul smell of your feet!"

The last sentence seems okay to me. What puzzles me, however, is the fact that I only got 7 pages of results for the construction "rather there was * than". Considering my verbal skills have been a little "off" lately, I'm not sure whether I can trust my judgment on this. Should I ignore the results and stick to my original construction? What do you think?
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Comments  
246 hits ain't bad. Add another 70 for "were." "rather there be * than" is 266. Most of them comport with your usage, in a cross-section of styles. It is a little special, but seems like the right choice here. I wouldn't worry about it. If your goal is to emulate contemporary popular style, you might look for another choice. It probably is something we older folks would say, but it surely fits with the rest of your "diatribe." - A.
AvangiIf you goal is to emulate contemporary popular style, you might look for another choice.
Thanks, Avangi. What would that choice be?
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Hi Avangi,

What about "I'd rather be happy...............".
MarvinTheMartian"For the love of God, put your shoes back on! I don't care how dirty they are! I'd rather there was a little dirt on my floor than have to put up with the foul smell of your feet!"
For me this sentence is ridiculous. It's like a common criminal dressed in a fine tailor-made suit for a court appearance; the content and the presentation just don't correspond.
Neeraj JainHi Avangi,

What about "I'd rather be happy..".

How did you see writing this entire sentence out?
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MarvinTheMartian
AvangiIf your goal is to emulate contemporary popular style, you might look for another choice.
What would that choice be?
I can deal with a little dirt on my floor, but I can't handle the smell of your feet! I think this is more direct, although it avoids the "rather this than that."

- A.
For the love of God, put your shoes back on! I don't care how dirty they are! I'd rather be happy if there was a little dirt on my floor than have to put up with the foul smell of your feet!"
Neeraj JainFor the love of God, put your shoes back on! I don't care how dirty they are! I'd rather be happy if there was a little dirt on my floor than have to put up with the foul smell of your feet!"
You've lost the comparison. "I'd be happier with a little dirt on my floor than with the smell of your feet."
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