The expository words “should” or “could” are used when the speaker wants to create the degree of certainty in his or her statement. The essay below will seek to describe the use of the above two words in relation to the three topics which includes; basic human rights, television and education.
Should all human beings be treated equally? And what could be the universal treatment for human beings? The two questions seek to emphasize more or less on the same thing and that is the basic human right. From the speaker’s statement the use of “should” in the first question signifies the expectation which ought to be applied when dealing with fellow human beings. All men were created equally and are endowed with certain unalienable individual rights such as pursuit of happiness, liberty and life. While “could “in the later question tries to dig out some hypothetical connotation of the same. Among the universal treatment that all human beings should enjoy is the freedom to life, liberty and happiness, but the use of could makes the speaker non- committal. It therefore depicts that some circumstances may deny people their universal treatment. Circumstances like criminal offence may deny individuals from enjoying their human rights.
Should television be a reliable source of information? And could we consider television as a reliable source of information? Television is a medium used in transmitting images and sound across the available network. Mostly the device is used to convey information across certain regions. From the past experience on the information we may decide on whether to term it as a reliable source or not. If there have been some doubt on the credibility of the information then similar doubts should be accorded to the later. But in the second scenario some further investigation should be undertaken before concluding on the reliability of the television information. The decision will therefore be made basing on the investigation and not perception.
Should we blame teachers for the education deterioration in our schools? Or could we blame teachers for the education deterioration in our schools? The first question shows a certain scenario where teachers are to blame for the deterioration of education in our schools. But the later signifies that teachers are not entirely to blame for the problem. Other factors may have contributed to the education problems. That is why the speaker have used could in order to extends the blame to include other factors such as the students and technology in the education deterioration.
In conclusion we can use “should” to indicate some certainty or optimism while “could” tends to lower the optimism level. “Should” is therefore used when the speaker intends to base his argument on the past experience which is bound to repeat itself, while “could” can be used when there are some doubts on the subject matter. Hypothetical decisions are therefore made which may or may not be true.