It's about time is a set phrase, and set phrases are often reduced--the efficiency principle and all that. About is inceptive, by the way, and it's time, the reduced form, still carries that meaning.
Originally Posted by e2e4
Speaking of reduction, the terms "past subjunctive (form)" and "past (form)" mean one and the same thing when applied to a subjunctive construct. The reason being,
... the past and present subjunctives are so called because they resemble the past and present indicatives, respectively, but the difference between them is a difference in modality, not a temporal one. In other words, assuming that the term past implies tense when used to describe subjunctive were is counterintuitive. (More clearly, the subjunctive is not a tense as you know, and therefore its verbs' "past [forms]" cannot be interpreted as past tense--they'll also tell you that at Oxford and Cambridge. Semantics has its value, agreed, but arguing it at that scale (i.e., on the basis of reduction) surely doesn't. Wouldn't you agree?
Man is by nature a political animal.
—Aristotle, 4th century BC