0
   

Really, modal verbs are tenseless

 
 
JTT
 
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 04:30 pm
Quote:
I think we should wait to see if the troop withdrawals happen according to the schedule, which starts next month IIRC. If it doesn't, I agree - it will have been a lie.


Post: # 3,688,037

http://able2know.org/topic/113196-573#bottom
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,201 • Replies: 34
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 07:11 pm
@JTT,
Being a grammar Nazi is one thing but opening whole new threads to nit pick on someone's grammar is a bit out there.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 08:49 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Being a grammar Nazi is one thing but opening whole new threads to nit pick on someone's grammar is a bit out there.


Boy, did you ever read this wrong, Robert!

This thread was opened solely for the purpose of discussing the inaccurate way in which modal verbs are described for modern English.

How could I be nitpicking on anyone's grammar when I held the collocation up as a shining example of a perfectly apt use of English?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 08:33 am
@Robert Gentel,
The only reason that I listed a direct link to the actual posting is that in determining what is and what is not part of the language, we must have context.

Now had I said that the poster shouldn't have used the underlined collocation, that would have been an example of a grammar Nazi. Examples of grammar Nazis abound in the Pet Peeves thread. I can't say that I have ever seen you address those examples?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 08:36 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Quote:
I think we should wait to see if the troop withdrawals happen according to the schedule, which starts next month IIRC. If it doesn't, I agree - it will have been a lie.


Post: # 3,688,037

http://able2know.org/topic/113196-573#bottom


What's your point? That modal verbs don't have a tense? How does your example support that claim?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 08:45 am
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
How does your example support that claim?


The point, Joe, is that in modern English, modals do not covey tense in sentences. What they carry is modal meaning. As we can see from the example, tense, in the sense that most people view it, that is, as a syntactic marker of time, is conveyed by the perfect 'have been'.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:06 am
So I take it you would disagree with using "had been".
(Not in that particular sentence, of course)
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:26 am
@George,
Quote:
So I take it you would disagree with using "had been".
(Not in that particular sentence, of course)


I don't understand where you're going with this, George, nor do I know what you mean. I guess that's because there's no context, but I can assure you that I have no problem at all with had been's in their place.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:34 am
@JTT,
Not going anyplace.
The question means what it says and you answered it.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:36 am
@George,
Actually, it was statement, not a question.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:37 am
@George,
Of course, it implied a question.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:42 am
@George,
You've really gotta be careful with those statements that imply questions, George. They really piss off the prescriptive crowd. Smile

They seem to be one of the latest of peeves.

Could you give me an example so I know what you mean?
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:46 am
@JTT,
What would you like an example of?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:48 am
@George,
A 'had been', if you would be so kind.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:51 am
@JTT,
By the time she got there, I had been waiting for over an hour.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:55 am
@George,
Quote:
By the time she got there, I had been waiting for over an hour.


Seems an eminently sensible choice to me, George. In all likelihood, I would have picked that meself, had I been in your shoes.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 10:43 am
@JTT,
Quote:
modals do not covey tense in sentences.


Ooooppps, 'convey' was what I intended to convey.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 10:55 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
Boy, did you ever read this wrong, Robert!


I didn't really read it at all, I thought it was another one of those threads you open to criticize someone's grammar like you did with Setanta as soon as I saw the subject and the link to someone's post.

I have it wrong this time but let me say that when you do open a new thread to criticize grammar from other thread's posts it's nutso.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 11:41 am
@Robert Gentel,
48 69 2C 20 52 6F 62 65 72 74 21
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 12:18 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
I have it wrong this time but let me say that when you do open a new thread to criticize grammar from other thread's posts it's nutso.


What a chickenshit response, Robert, so distant in time.

I have not opened any thread ever to criticize anyone's grammar. You didn't even read it but you think it fine to leap to conclusions that are not warranted.






 

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