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    #1

    Question 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    Hello,

    Do people use this in the US - "I hail from <City/country>'?

    I saw the following sentence in a news story about a US Attorney being accused of targeting Indians.

    "After all, Indian critics were angry because even though I hailed from India, I appeared to be going out of my way to act American and serve the interests of America. Which was also kind of odd, because I am American and the words 'United States' are actually in my title," he said, referring to his post as U.S. Attorney.
    In India people say "I hail from <city name / region name>". Could someone please explain why he has used "hailed" instead of "hail". I don't think it is a mistake because he is a highly educated (Harvard, Columbia) attorney.


    Thank you

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    It's not that common informally.
    The explanation for 'hailed' is simple. He's speaking in the past tense. He could have said "... because I was American" a bit later.
    "The Indians are angry because I am American."
    "The Indians were angry because I was American." (An example - doesn't really relate to the story)
    He is speaking here, so he hasn't planned his use of tenses ahead of time. If he had been writing this, he would probably not have written, "Which was also kind of odd, "

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    #3

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    @Raymott, thank you. Would it be wrong to say "The Indians were angry because I am an American." ? (The Indians were angry in the past - he is still an American - that time and even now).

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    @Raymott,
    This isn't Twitter. We don't preface usernames with @ and there is no need to put the username in bold.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    @Raymott, thank you. Would it be wrong to say "The Indians were angry because I am an American." ? (The Indians were angry in the past - he is still an American - that time and even now).
    No, that's not wrong. But he was American when the Indians were angry at him too, the past tense works as well.
    "They didn't hire me because I was a woman." This can be said even by someone who is still a woman.
    Last edited by Raymott; 29-Jun-2014 at 10:37.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, that's not wrong. But he was American when the Indians were angry at him too, the past tense works as well.
    "They didn't hire me because I was a women." This can be said even by someone who is still a woman.
    That could only be said by twins.

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    #7

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    This isn't Twitter. We don't preface usernames with @ and there is no need to put the username in bold.
    Thank you emsr2d2 for bringing that up as I have been using the "@" almost mindlessly. Respectfully, here are a few thoughts/observations about it.

    1. I was not aware that it is a Twitter convention. (I don't have a Twitter or a Facebook account and I do not visit these sites.) My use of the Internet predates the birth of Twitter by at least 16 years, and I have come across various conventions for posting on bulletin boards, mailing lists and forums. I make it a point to read the posting guidelines before I post, although it is possible that at times I might have missed updates to the posting guidelines. I have quickly gone over the posting guidelines again now and I did not see anything about this. I could be wrong, but I may not be the only person using @. It is used on forums on other sites.

    As was the practice before forums were available, people would 'lurk' on newsgroups (usenet) and learn the posting etiquette from how other people posted. I have picked up the habit of using @ from other users, not from Twitter. But I see no reason to continue using it. So I will stop using it.

    However, it may help to use bold fonts - especially if I am addressing multiple persons in my reply - so that it is easier for the respective person to read parts addressed to them (since many of the teachers or native speakers have to go through a large number of posts and may want to be selective in reading). Again, I will drop this if this does not make sense or annoys people.

    2. I have been using the "@" and bold username for a while now on this site (albeit inconsistently). I have even addressed you with "@" and bold letters in a reply in Dec 2011. So I am a bit surprised that you noticed it only now, or perhaps you chose to comment only now although you might have noticed it before.

    3. Please consider adding this to the posting guidelines if you don't want people to use "@" and bold on these forums.

    Thank you

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Thank you emsr2d2 for bringing that up as I have been using the "@" almost mindlessly. Respectfully, here are a few thoughts/observations about it.
    I have also used @ here when my post was a reply to more than one person. And I've never used twitter either.
    I agree with some of your points.

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    #9

    Re: 'I hail from' vs 'I hailed from'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Could someone please explain why he has used "hailed" instead of "hail".
    It's because he was born in India but is American. I think the past shows the break with his past- he left there when he was two.

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