I heard a person of middling education use the subjunctive on the radio this morning: “… it’s important that Congress have…..” and he was not British, using the pluralia tantum as in “the government are…” Just a plain old American politician being interviewed.
Here’s an example of where the subjunctive would be significant: “Relishing that one bite of language with everyone, insisting everybody enjoys it, checking with the monitor studentsâ€¦I don’t do that enough. “ The writing meant that he was wanting for everybody to enjoy it but wrote as if he were reporting a fact, that everybody did in fact enjoy it. I doubt many such intersections exist in English and many people do without the subjunctive just fine.
I am always amazed at how frequently, even in books of some linguistic sophistication, I read that the subjunctive is not found except in “If I were….” conjectures and Long Live the King! expressions. Not true at all. I question how much educational level has to do with it. Most of the people using it could not label it the subjunctive; they are unaware they are using it and that they are thereby making a distinction between “I insist he is in my office now” (where is he? I don’t see him) and “I insist that he be in my office now” (get him in here).
Many decades ago, Charles Fries examined the written notes of thousands of supplicants to a federal agency and devised a reasonable grammar of American English. What a concept! Examine the data.
BTW, North American English used the subjunctive regularly while it is not used much in Great Britain, a reversal of the shibbolethic mentality which determines that the subjunctive is the hallmark of proper English and the British are the models we all should follow.