I think that while it makes sense to say that somebody looks [now] like they have [just] seen a ghost -- they look shocked and scared -- I don't really think it makes sense to talk about someone looking [now] as if they had [at some time in the past] seen a ghost. My father says he saw a ghost round about 1930 and he looks just like any other man of 89.
I already remarked on this issue that Contrex had
raised [focus on that fairly distant time in the past, July 2008]
already remarked on this issue that Contrex has
It doesn't matter that a year has passed, I can use the present perfect to make this year old topic seem new, seem important to the discussion now.
already remarked on this issue before Robert last posted.
What these examples show is that we use different aspects of the past tense, the past perfect, the present perfect and the past simple, for different semantic reasons. We don't just follow prescriptive rules telling us that we have to match tenses. If we actually followed such nonsense, then there would be many things that we'd be unable to express; clearly an untenable position for language.
The English language has no established rules as depicted by Concord of Tenses/ Sequence of Tenses
. As it is with other prescriptions, all we have to do is look around us to see examples that disprove the prescription.
If I hadn't written this, some would still believe in Concord of Tenses/ Sequence of Tenses
If I hadn't written this, some would still be passing around false information about Concord of Tenses/ Sequence of Tenses
If Robert hadn't been born, he wouldn't have this A2K website.
If Robert hadn't been born, he wouldn't/couldn't have developed this website.
Contrex could, of course, remark on his father seeing a ghost, even tho' it was 1930, by using the present perfect.
Contrex: My father has seen
a ghost. It was ...
This is the PP of experience.