Discussion:
actor learns French/headlinese
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a***@gmail.com
2017-12-03 20:00:53 UTC
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1) For his new role, John Doe learns French.

2) Dog learns to sing.

Let us say these are headlines.

Would they correspond to:

a) has learned/learned
or:
b) is learning

I think '1' could be either, but '2' corresponds to 'a'.

Gratefully,
Navi.
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-03 20:39:17 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) For his new role, John Doe learns French.
2) Dog learns to sing.
Let us say these are headlines.
a) has learned/learned
b) is learning
I think '1' could be either, but '2' corresponds to 'a'.
Headlines are for the most part timeless and are designed to get you to read
the article, in which you will learn the answer.
GordonD
2017-12-04 15:34:55 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) For his new role, John Doe learns French.
2) Dog learns to sing.
Let us say these are headlines.
a) has learned/learned or: b) is learning
I think '1' could be either, but '2' corresponds to 'a'.
Headlines are for the most part timeless and are designed to get you
to read the article, in which you will learn the answer.
And are often misleading, as in the classic (possibly apocryphal)
'QUEEN IN PUNCH-UP AT PALACE', on a newsvendor's placard. Only after you
bought the paper did you find that it referred to a footballer named
Gerry Queen, who played for the London club Crystal Palace.
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
Peter Moylan
2017-12-04 00:16:34 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) For his new role, John Doe learns French.
2) Dog learns to sing.
Let us say these are headlines.
a) has learned/learned
b) is learning
I think '1' could be either, but '2' corresponds to 'a'.
You might be correct, but the reasoning to reach those conclusions has
little to do with language, and a lot more to do with how newspapers work.

In (2), for example, a newspaper is not likely to print a story saying
that a dog is beginning to learn to sing. The story is interesting only
if the dog has made some progress. That, and only that, is the reason
why "learns" must be standing in for a past or perfect tense. It's
nothing to do with the rules of English.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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