Might is right

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I READ your report on the banking fiasco (“Goodwin may have faced charges under planned threat”, 12 December).

It seems to me this is a case of a major difference between “might have” and “may have”. If “may have” is used it means that on some occasion in the past something could have happened, but we have no evidence whether it did or not. I do not think that is the case.

What is needed here is “might have” which is used for the hypothetical speculation for an event in the past, which we know cannot be changed.

Interestingly, the grammar of “Had a new criminal offence… been in place when Mr ­Goodwin was still at the helm of the bank, proceedings would have been taken…” is a perfect third ­conditional. Who ever said there is no meaning in English grammar? 

Marina Donald 

Tantallon Place

Edinburgh