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  1. #1
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Post Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Dear friends,

    The text below is what I read in a magazine. I was wondering why the author used 'later, Burton would land a job at Disney', why not simply say 'later, Burton landed a job at Disney'? And, what does 'creative diferences' mean? Thank you!

    Burton's (director of the movie Alice in wonderland) career began in a somewhat peculiar manner. His artistic talent was discovered by a garbage company. The organization loved his anti-litter posters, so they asked to put them on the side of their garbage trucks. Later, Burton would land a job at Disney. Despite his talent, he had some creative differences with coworkers who felt he was a bit strange...

  2. #2
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Here 'would' is the past tense form of 'will'. Tense is a complicated subject, but we are talking here about his career, from a viewpoint in the past, where he has not yet got the job at Disney, so the writer used 'would'.

  3. #3
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Post Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Here 'would' is the past tense form of 'will'. Tense is a complicated subject, but we are talking here about his career, from a viewpoint in the past, where he has not yet got the job at Disney, so the writer used 'would'.
    Dear Pedroski,

    Thanks for your reply.
    In the same text, the author used 'creative differences'. Would you please tell me how 'differences' can be described as 'creative'? Thank you!

  4. #4
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    'differences' in your text is a euphemism for 'arguments'. He presumably did not like the way the people at Disney worked, how they created their art. His co-workers there found him to be a bit strange. I presume they did not like the way he worked. So they had 'creative differences' = arguments about how to work, how to create their art.

    明白?

  5. #5
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear friends,

    The text below is what I read in a magazine. I was wondering why the author used 'later, Burton would land a job at Disney', why not simply say 'later, Burton landed a job at Disney'? And, what does 'creative diferences' mean? Thank you!

    Burton's (director of the movie Alice in wonderland) career began in a somewhat peculiar manner. His artistic talent was discovered by a garbage company. The organization loved his anti-litter posters, so they asked to put them on the side of their garbage trucks. Later, Burton would land a job at Disney. Despite his talent, he had some creative differences with coworkers who felt he was a bit strange...

    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Heidi,


    I was fascinated by your question abour "would" because I think that

    you have made a very insightful observation. I think that sometimes

    writers use "would" when they should use the good old past tense.

    I once read in the Times Literary Supplement (perhaps the world's

    most scholarly book review) something to this effect:

    It is wrong to write "This would not be the first/last time." This implies

    that had [the writer] been there he could have predicted what was

    in the future. Use the simple past: This was not the ... .

    *****

    I also read this in a biography:

    "The old Emperor William would die at ninety-one in 1888."

    I guess -- according to the adviser in the Times Literary Supplement --

    the sentence should have simply said:

    The old Emperor William died at ... .


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********
    Last edited by TheParser; 09-Nov-2010 at 15:48.

  6. #6
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Talking Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    'differences' in your text is a euphemism for 'arguments'. He presumably did not like the way the people at Disney worked, how they created their art. His co-workers there found him to be a bit strange. I presume they did not like the way he worked. So they had 'creative differences' = arguments about how to work, how to create their art.

    明白?
    Dear Pedroski,

    I think I understand. Thank you!

    順便想請教您, "我想我明白了" 說成 "I think I understand" 恰當嗎?

  7. #7
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Default Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Heidi,


    I was fascinated by your question abour "would" because I think that

    you have made a very insightful observation. I think that sometimes

    writers use "would" when they should use the good old past tense.

    I once read in the Times Literary Supplement (perhaps the world's

    most scholarly book review) something to this effect:

    It is wrong to write "This would not be the first/last time." This implies

    that had [the writer] been there he could have predicted what was

    in the future. Use the simple past: This was not the ... .

    *****

    I also read this in a biography:

    "The old Emperor William would die at ninety-one in 1888."

    I guess -- according to the adviser in the Times Literary Supplement --

    the sentence should have simply said:

    The old Emperor William died at ... .


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********
    Dear TheParser,

    I'm not quite sure If I'v got what you mean. (Is it strange to say '...if I've got what you mean'? If so, please correct me!)

    Do you mean it's better (or more approprite) to have said "later, he landed a job at Disney"?

    Because I think the author was introducing, or describing someone, he should have know something about the person. I feel a bit strange the author predicted what Burton (the movie director) would do.

  8. #8
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear TheParser,

    I'm not quite sure If I'v got what you mean. (Is it strange to say '...if I've got what you mean'? If so, please correct me!)

    Do you mean it's better (or more approprite) to have said "later, he landed a job at Disney"?

    Because I think the author was introducing, or describing someone, he should have know something about the person. I feel a bit strange the author predicted what Burton (the movie director) would do.
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Heidi,


    Thank you for your kind note.

    I think that you are correct on both counts:

    (1) If I've got what you mean is, I feel, perfectly good English.

    (2) If I understand that source that I quoted in my first post, then

    I agree with you that the writer should have said "landed."

    After all, I noticed that in the next sentence he used the past

    tense, not "would + bare infinitive."


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    I always twitch when I read or hear 'should have said X' or 'X is better'.

    When we are dealing with grammar as fact, (for example: the plural of child is children), then we can be authoritative - authoritarian even. However, when we are dealing with grammar as choice or style, then we can only give opinions.

    The use of would may convey exactly the message the writer wishes to convey, and even the 'world's most scholarly book review' has no authority to rule on that.

  10. #10
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Smile Re: Using of the word 'would' will make difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I always twitch when I read or hear 'should have said X' or 'X is better'.

    When we are dealing with grammar as fact, (for example: the plural of child is children), then we can be authoritative - authoritarian even. However, when we are dealing with grammar as choice or style, then we can only give opinions.

    The use of would may convey exactly the message the writer wishes to convey, and even the 'world's most scholarly book review' has no authority to rule on that.
    Dear fivejedjon,

    I have doubted that the use of the word 'would' here might be not a matter of grammar, but kind of a matter of writing skill, writing art or writing style. I know that, for me, it may be not an easy job to appreciate what a author was trying to convey, I still have lots of things to learn, and I would like to hear more from you.
    "Later, Burton would land a job at Disney"---Would you please tell me more about what the author possibly trying to convey and what the message behind was? Thank you!
    For reference, I post the whole paragraph here:

    Burton's (director of the movie Alice in wonderland) career began in a somewhat peculiar manner. His artistic talent was discovered by a garbage company. The organization loved his anti-litter posters, so they asked to put them on the side of their garbage trucks. Later, Burton would land a job at Disney. Despite his talent, he had some creative differences with coworkers who felt he was a bit strange. In 1989, Burton hit the big time when he was chosen to direct Batman. It became a box-office smash largely because it gave audiences a glimpse at the dark side of the caped crusader.
    Last edited by Heidi; 11-Nov-2010 at 02:18.

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