irrealis mood as an excuse to talk bollocks

I received what initially appeared to be a patent trolling email which made interesting use of the following grammatical construction:
"He might wish to know that I have been granted a patent on the invention he is seeking information on and I am happy to discuss licensing opportunities."
The sentence uses a construction referred to as subjunctive mood, the important part being:
"He might wish to know (that) ..."
This technique allows the author to make statements about the imagination ("In a dream I owned a big blue dog"), or opinion ("I think dogs are nice") in the language that we would usually discuss real things in the world ("I own a dog").


So the statement:
"In a dream I owned a dog"
In the subjunctive becomes:
"I had a dream (that) I own a dog"
So the idea is that you "append" the proposition you wish to purport as true at some suitably distinct point from the condition, so that the reader fails to notice the change. ("I am thinking that X and Y and Z and I am the king of England")

So the technique is not particularly useful if you use it all the time, to phrase imaginary things as real by tagging them to conditional clauses, people will catch on quickly.  Much like in poker, a player who bluffs all the time is never going to steal any pots.

However it's more interesting to see it being used as a "safety net" against being caught out with lies.

Anyone who has played poker, or any game that involves evaluating the "risk" of a particular move, will appreciate the tactical value of a "get out of jail" card for a bluff, and probably remember a few times it would have saved them. It's more generally known as a Mulligan to be allowed to play a particularly bad shot again, and this is especially valuable if the opponent is unaware of this option, as they would be at an information disadvantage with regard to estimating your appetite for risk. (*)

I would suggest that a good strategy would be:
  1. phrase as much of your language in the subjunctive as possible, in order to acclimatise your subject to this fuck-tardiously tortured language.
  2. Ensure that the majority of your propositions are valid and true
  3. slip minor but obvious omissions and errors, that act to distract the keen reader.
  4. Drop in the big lie (in it's protective subjunctive jacket), and leave the room quickly. Like a fart in a crowded lift.
  5. Profit!
Obviously, if anyone catches you out, explain that obviously what you meant was ... "you might", but equally, "you might not",  actually be "the King of England"

However on analysis, this seems to remarkably similar to how both the legal  and political systems use language. To just keep them lies coming, and eventually you will get a big stinky one through the filter.

Here I'll let wikipedia explain the details of the Subjunctive:
"The subjunctive is a grammatical mood found in many languages. Subjunctive forms of verbs are typically used to express various states of unreality..." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjunctive_mood
Going back to the part of the original statement:
"He might wish to know that I have been granted a patent on the invention he is seeking information on..."

The thing is a complex sentence, with two parts separated by a conjunction and "I have been granted a patent" is a dependent clause to the independent clause "He might wish to know"

However in terms of propositional logic, the dependent clause "I have been granted a patent" isn't actually a proposition in that context, because it is imaginary, or in irrealis mood. Hence the statement is never false (is it even a statement?), even in the case when "I have been granted a patent" is false in reality.

TLDR;

Basically, that grammatical construction is a form of weasel words, or tergiversation, because it reverses the position of the dominant clause unexpectedly.

Is it ever false?

Clearly its plausibly true that "He might (may or may not) wish to know", even if I didn't actually "wish to know". Hence it seems to be "generally" true.

If the conditional clause asserted a falsity, such as something like "He might be a square circle (hence) that ... I have been granted a patent", the whole statement would be false.

(That would also be false, even if "I have been granted a patent" was true.)

So it would be equally reasonable to say;
"Dear Sir,
You might wish to know that I am Lord Lucan"
Actually, you might as well go the whole way and say:
"Dear Sir,
You might wish to know that you are Lord Lucan"
The proposition "He might (or might not) wish to know", doesn't refer to reality, only whether it's possible that something be true in reality ("that you wish to know").

So "He might X" is true, as long as X is possible. (However you read the probabilistic operator "might")

Find a false case:
"He might wish to know that I have been granted a patent on the invention he is seeking information on and I am happy to discuss licensing opportunities."
The only circumstance under which that statement can evaluate to false, is if it's false that "You might wish to know".

But to be clear, the false case circumstance is when its "not possible" that I might wish to know, and that would seem to be the case where it is determined one way, or the other.

This might be a "False" case

The only circumstance I can think of, would be if that I were in a coma (or dead), and Mr Bishop knew that.

Hence Mr Bishop would elect, (if he be an honest man, which may be the case), to assign zero probability to the proposition "Tom Hodder wishes to know that I have been granted a patent"

or in Englsihes:

"Tom Hodder doesn't wishes to know that I have been granted a patent, because he is dead." 

I think that the statement would also be true, if I definitely wanted to know, but I don't see that its possible to be 100% certain that I definitely want to know, because after all I might be dreaming.

Summary

 I don't wish to know if Mr Bishop has been granted a patent. This is a true statement as of now. If you have just read this, then you also know that I don't wish to know. Hence in that context it is not true that "He might wish to know that I have been granted a patent".
 
disclaimer: I am not a linguistic, and I might have failed English literature GCSE, hence it might be a good idea to not believe any of this post as anything other than made up cobblers.

(*) that can probably more appropriately summarized, as "your opponent is at a disadvantage, if he doesn't know you are willing to cheat"