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Thread: newspaper time

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    Default newspaper time

    A now-happening protest may be finished in a few hours.
    A now-happening rainfall and flood can last for a few days.
    But a report can not tell how long the case really lasts. So how can a reporter now report a now-happening case in a tense so that it is still valid tomorrow as newspaper's readers see it?

    That is to say, a man says something now and readers will hear it tomorrow in a correct tense. What kind of a tense it is?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: newspaper time

    As you're talking to them, I'd use the presents to reflect events at the time of reading.

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    Default Re: newspaper time

    However, most pieces of news are written in Simple Past. Do I have to give examples?

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: newspaper time

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    A now-happening protest may be finished in a few hours.

    It depends on the angle the reporter wants, Shun. But also remember that not all ideas exressed will relate specifically in time to the actual event. Background to the protest could use present perfect. Past perfect might also be used or simple past. The main story could be related with the present continuous, even though the story would appear later, though I have to admit that this is more likely to happen in 'live' news broadcasts.

    It depends on the time, some speaker choice, [as certain areas of English allow freedoms, sometimes known as 'artistic license', 'newspaper English'] semantics/meaning and structual considerations.




    A now-happening rainfall and flood can last for a few days.
    But a report can not tell how long the case really lasts. So how can a reporter now report a now-happening case in a tense so that it is still valid tomorrow as newspaper's readers see it?

    Basically it's the same thing as above. But here, my guess is, as I envision it now, that we'd use some present perfect progressive; "the rian has been falling, off and on, for a week. The town has received __ cetimeters ...

    That is to say, a man says something now and readers will hear it tomorrow in a correct tense. What kind of a tense it is?
    I think it would be great to give some examples.

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    Default Re: newspaper time

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    It depends on the angle the reporter wants..... It depends on the time, some speaker choice, [as certain areas of English allow freedoms, sometimes known as 'artistic license', 'newspaper English'] semantics/meaning and structual considerations.

    Exactly what depends what angle? Are you saying we may use any tense at all? I am afraid we cannot call the dilemma a freedom, can we? Here is the dilemma:

    Either (1) wrong use of Simple Past:
    As in "In Rome, Prodi's office SAID he discussed....", when will the reporter use Simple Past SAID? Is it at once when he hears it? If so, it is ungrammatical. This also hardly explains why reporters use Simple Present "says" sometimes.

    or (2) cooking the tense:
    Or is it when the reporter is back in press room, pretending the saying is now over? If so, however, why is the news headline in Simple Present "wants"? Again, this also hardly explains why reporters use Simple Present "says" sometimes.

    No matter the choice, it is not the correct way to use Simple Past. I cannot think of any angle to help the choice.

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: newspaper time

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    Exactly what depends what angle? Are you saying we may use any tense at all? I am afraid we cannot call the dilemma a freedom, can we? Here is the dilemma:

    Either (1) wrong use of Simple Past:
    As in "In Rome, Prodi's office SAID he discussed....", when will the reporter use Simple Past SAID? Is it at once when he hears it? If so, it is ungrammatical. This also hardly explains why reporters use Simple Present "says" sometimes.

    Please explain why you feel it is ungrammatical, Shun.

    or (2) cooking the tense:
    Or is it when the reporter is back in press room, pretending the saying is now over? If so, however, why is the news headline in Simple Present "wants"? Again, this also hardly explains why reporters use Simple Present "says" sometimes.

    Shun said/says that this doesn't explain why reporters sometimes use the present simple verb 'says'.

    There. I've just reported this to everyone here at Using English. I had my choice of 'said' or 'says'. Using present simple gives the listener the feeling that this is something that Shun still believes, that Shun is quite adamant about what he says, that Shun is likely to say the same thing if someone else asks him.


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    Default Re: newspaper time

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    There. I've just reported this to everyone here at Using English. I had my choice of 'said' or 'says'. Using present simple gives the listener the feeling that this is something that Shun still believes, that Shun is quite adamant about what he says, that Shun is likely to say the same thing if someone else asks him.

    My reply: Yes, "feeling" is a good explanation.

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: newspaper time

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    My reply: Yes, "feeling" is a good explanation.
    It's obvious that both said and says are available to ENLs, Shun. What's your explanation for the difference?

    [OR to form a softer, more deferential question]

    What would be your explanation for the difference?

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    Default Re: newspaper time

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    It's obvious that both said and says are available to ENLs, Shun. What's your explanation for the difference?
    [OR to form a softer, more deferential question]
    What would be your explanation for the difference?
    My reply: This is why I am asking "Newspaper Time". I don't want to use irony anymore, but I think we cannot choose tense because of feelings, of which there is no objective proof.

    I don't think English has invented some tense to display feelings.

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