Doc V posted:
I greatly prefer Rachel's take on this (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, Dr Ibrahim's) over Mr Cordell's. I agree with Mr Cordell when he says:
'I want him to go to nursery school.'
has a subtle difference in meaning from
'I'm wanting him to go to nursery school.'
Where I disagree is what that difference is. To me, the difference is not about "doubts", as Mr Cordell suggests. Rather, I hear the "I want ... " version as something that has always been part of my plan, whereas "I'm wanting ... " conveys more of a sense of immediacy or currency. This is what seems important to me right now.
That makes sense to me, DocV. On the extremely rare occasions when I might be inclined to use "wanting" in the progressive, I would use it to speak only of the now, with the implication that the state could change at any moment.
For example, I haven't been to see a medical doctor in about twenty years, but I do have moments when I think it might be time to do so. If I were speaking to someone at one of those times, I might say, "I am wanting to see a doctor."
I might also use the progressive if I were speaking of someone who was subject to whims or who often thinks she wants to do things that she does not wind up doing. One could say, for example, "She is wanting to join the circus."
Another case that comes to mind is cravings, which are by definition temporary intense wants. Someone who has recently quit smoking, for example, might say, "I am wanting a cigarette right now" or"I am wanting to smoke."