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    #1

    bears / bore

    Among the crimes for which Hitler bears / bore direct responsibility was the attempt to exterminate the Jews.

    Should 'bears' or 'bore' be used?

    Many thanks.

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    #2

    Re: bears / bore

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Among the crimes for which Hitler bears / bore direct responsibility was the attempt to exterminate the Jews.

    Should 'bears' or 'bore' be used?

    Many thanks.
    Which one do you think should be used, and why?

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    #3

    Re: bears / bore

    I think it should be 'bore' because Hitler is dead.

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    #4

    Re: bears / bore

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I think it should be 'bore' because Hitler is dead.
    Basically I agree with you.

    But people who think that Hitler still exists in some form and has not yet received final judgement may want to use 'bears'.
    And even some people who don't believe the above may prefer 'bears', because Hitler and his crimes can be primarily viewed as an ongoing historical fact.

    On the other hand, that sentence uses "was (the attempt...)" rather than 'is (the attempt...)', so maybe 'bore' fits better with "was".

    But one can further complicate this question by asking whether 'is' would be more suitable in that sentence than "was". After all it still is a crime, even though it happened long ago.

    So finally, accepting the sentence as it is and because Hitler is dead, I would also choose 'bore'. But others may choose 'bears' and may also prefer 'is'.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: bears / bore

    In another forum, I read an explanation of "bears" that made good sense to me: This was still recent enough in history that people who were directly affected are still alive. Using the present tense makes sense because people are still feeling the result.

    (You still need "was" because Hitler is no longer doing anything, although his effects linger.)

    {not a teacher}

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    #6

    Re: bears / bore

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In another forum, I read an explanation of "bears" that made good sense to me: This was still recent enough in history that people who were directly affected are still alive. Using the present tense makes sense because people are still feeling the result.

    (You still need "was" because Hitler is no longer doing anything, although his effects linger.)

    {not a teacher}
    I don't have a major disagreement because I already acknowledged that the choice of words is subject to the reader's interpretation. But I do think it is somewhat contradictory to use "bears" with "was".
    You prefer "was" because "Hitler is no longer doing anything." That's true because he is dead. But isn't still bearing responsibilty doing something?

    Victims still being alive could be seen as supporting the use of "is". To me, this relates to the ongoing suffering of the victims, that is the ongoing (effects of the) crime, not to the bears/bore question.
    Obviously this is a complicated question; maybe we will hear other opinions.

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    #7

    Re: bears / bore

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I don't have a major disagreement because I already acknowledged that the choice of words is subject to the reader's interpretation. But I do think it is somewhat contradictory to use "bears" with "was".
    You prefer "was" because "Hitler is no longer doing anything." That's true because he is dead. But isn't still bearing responsibilty doing something?

    Victims still being alive could be seen as supporting the use of "is". To me, this relates to the ongoing suffering of the victims, that is the ongoing (effects of the) crime, not to the bears/bore question.
    Obviously this is a complicated question; maybe we will hear other opinions.
    I would say "bears" for the reason Barb gives, and "is" for the reason you give.
    People can still be responsible for things after they've died, otherwise we'd have to accept that on the day before he died he was responsible for those crimes but on the day after he died, he wasn't.
    As another example, Shakespeare is still responsible for writing his plays, even though he's been dead 400 years. However, whether he still "bears" that responsibility is arguable. Does Judas still bear the responsibility for the betrayal of Jesus? If he doesn't, does anybody?

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I would say "bears" for the reason Barb gives, and "is" for the reason you give.
    People can still be responsible for things after they've died, otherwise we'd have to accept that on the day before he died he was responsible for those crimes but on the day after he died, he wasn't.
    One can say 'Yes, of course, because after he dies he doesn't exist any more and something that doesn't exist can't, by definition, (still) be responsible for anything.'
    As another example, Shakespeare is still responsible for writing his plays, even though he's been dead 400 years. However, whether he still "bears" that responsibility is arguable. Does Judas still bear the responsibility for the betrayal of Jesus? If he doesn't, does anybody?
    Thanks for your comments, Raymott.
    My comments in blue just illustrate the fact that any combination of words can be questioned/criticized. So I think this is an interesting question, but one without a clear answer. All choices seem to have have merits and flaws.
    Last edited by 2006; 11-Sep-2008 at 06:36. Reason: correcting error

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    #9

    Re: bears / bore

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Thanks for your comments, Raymott.
    My comments in blue just illustrate the fact that any combination of words can be questioned/criticized. So I think this is an interesting question, but one without a clear answer. All choices seem to have have merits and flaws.
    Yes, it's probably a moot point for law students to cut their teeth on, rather than English teachers.

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