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Thread: dies/died at 89

  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default dies/died at 89

    Police officer who took on gangland boss dies at 89.

    This is the headline of a piece of news in the newspaper I read recently.

    Is 'dies' correct? Could 'died' be used instead?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 20-Jun-2010 at 21:00.

  2. #2
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: dies/died at 89

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Police officer who took on gangland boss dies at 89.

    This is the headline of a pieces of news in the newspaper I read recently.

    Is 'dies' correct? Could 'died' be used instead?

    Thanks in advance.
    Fine. It's "newspaper" grammar.

  3. #3
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: dies/died at 89

    Thanks, Corum.

    So, strictly speaking, the correct word should be 'died'.

    Why do newspapers allow such glaring errors to appear?

    Any information would be deeply appreciated.

    Thanks, again.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: dies/died at 89

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, Corum.

    So, strictly speaking, the correct word should be 'died'.

    Why do newspapers allow such glaring errors to appear?

    Any information would be deeply appreciated.

    Thanks, again.
    With newspapers, the headlines frequently use structures which would be deemed grammatically incorrect in most circumstances. It's regularly to do with a lack of space so they use as few words as possible and, as with, your example, frequently use the present tense.

    Man finds body in woods = A man has found a body in the woods.
    Child missing in lake = A child has disappeared in a lake.
    Pope dies aged 89 = The Pope has died, aged 89.

    As you can see, articles are missed out and tenses are not necessarily the same as you would normally use.

  5. #5
    elhithebest is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Re: dies/died at 89

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, Corum.

    So, strictly speaking, the correct word should be 'died'.

    Why do newspapers allow such glaring errors to appear?

    Any information would be deeply appreciated.

    Thanks, again.

    It is common to use the simple present in newspapers headlines to refer to past events.
    In Alexander (grammar book) you can see it.
    I gess you could find it in any grammar book but thatīs the one I saw in my 1st year


  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: dies/died at 89

    Yes, I want to restate that. Newspapers use the present tense frequently in their headlines. It's not an error.

    Mcdowell Wins US Open
    School Board Okays New Curriculum
    Police Seize Drugs, Paraphernalia
    Thousands Protest Budget Cuts
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: dies/died at 89

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes, I want to restate that. Newspapers use the present tense frequently in their headlines. It's not an error.

    Mcdowell Wins US Open
    School Board Okays New Curriculum
    Police Seize Drugs, Paraphernalia
    Thousands Protest Budget Cuts
    Thanks, Barb.

    Your examples are all in simple present tense, but mine contains the past and present tenses, which I find strange.


    Police officer who took on gangland boss dies at 89.

    Why did the editor not change 'took' to 'takes' to be consistent?

    I would appreciate any response from any member.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 21-Jun-2010 at 18:23.

  8. #8
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: dies/died at 89

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Police officer who took on gangland boss dies at 89.

    Why did the editor not change 'took' to 'takes' to be consistent?

    Newspapers use the present tense to report very recent events to indicate immediacy.

    Thus we know that 'Police officer dies at 89' is the way newspapers report the fact that the police officer has just died.

    In this case the police officer took on the gangland boss well in the past - before he retired many years ago.

    Rover

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