Discussion:
Does English have aorist tense?
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Dingbat
2020-02-14 05:06:16 UTC
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Subject: Does English have an aorist tense?

In my wording of the passage below, what is the tense of MEANS and OBJECTS?
Not present tense, what? So, do they function like the Greek aorist?



Plain Jane was pretty per this claimed origin* of the expression:

"'I will come, then, Mrs. Sleaford' said Jane, 'if you'll take me
as I am — plain Jane Crosby.' 'Handsome Jane Crosby, anybody else
would say,' gallantly remarked [Mr] Sleaford. ' "
https://preview.tinyurl.com/tyno5uu

Plain was a pun in the above exchange. "I'm plain Jane Crosby"
MEANS "I'm just Jane Crosby." Mr. Sleaford, interpreting it
possibly facetiously as "I'm homely Jane Crosby" OBJECTS that
she's pretty.

His interpretation found its way into popular use, probably because plain and Jane rhymed.



* Adapted from from this thread:
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.usage.english/5PVHW-O9pnU/X1Y8anagFgAJ
David Kleinecke
2020-02-14 05:24:15 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
Subject: Does English have an aorist tense?
In my wording of the passage below, what is the tense of MEANS and OBJECTS?
Not present tense, what? So, do they function like the Greek aorist?
"'I will come, then, Mrs. Sleaford' said Jane, 'if you'll take me
as I am — plain Jane Crosby.' 'Handsome Jane Crosby, anybody else
would say,' gallantly remarked [Mr] Sleaford. ' "
https://preview.tinyurl.com/tyno5uu
Plain was a pun in the above exchange. "I'm plain Jane Crosby"
MEANS "I'm just Jane Crosby." Mr. Sleaford, interpreting it
possibly facetiously as "I'm homely Jane Crosby" OBJECTS that
she's pretty.
His interpretation found its way into popular use, probably because plain and Jane rhymed.
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/alt.usage.english/5PVHW-O9pnU/X1Y8anagFgAJ
Both are present tense. They are two different kinds of presents.
Naming them in more detail is a waste of time,
Eric Walker
2020-02-14 05:43:13 UTC
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2020 21:06:16 -0800, Dingbat wrote:

[...]
Post by Dingbat
In my wording of the passage below, what is the tense of MEANS and OBJECTS?
Not present tense, what? So, do they function like the Greek aorist?
[...]
Post by Dingbat
Plain was a pun in the above exchange. "I'm plain Jane Crosby"
MEANS "I'm just Jane Crosby." Mr. Sleaford, interpreting it possibly
facetiously as "I'm homely Jane Crosby" OBJECTS that she's pretty.
Both verbs are in the present tense.

In the first instance, the present is used because it expresses a general
truth, as in "two times two is four".

In the second instance, the present is used as the so-called "historical
present", as in "After the accident, the crowd gathers round till the
ambulance arrives" (describing actions in the actual past).
--
Cordially,
Eric Walker
Peter Moylan
2020-02-14 09:13:21 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
Subject: Does English have an aorist tense?
In my wording of the passage below, what is the tense of MEANS and
OBJECTS? Not present tense, what? So, do they function like the Greek
aorist?
Every few years I look up the meaning and function of the Greek aorist
tense. Shortly afterwards, I'm just as confused as before.

You have to admire those classical Greeks, being able to speak such a
difficult language.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Adam Funk
2020-02-17 16:35:30 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Dingbat
Subject: Does English have an aorist tense?
In my wording of the passage below, what is the tense of MEANS and
OBJECTS? Not present tense, what? So, do they function like the Greek
aorist?
Every few years I look up the meaning and function of the Greek aorist
tense. Shortly afterwards, I'm just as confused as before.
You have to admire those classical Greeks, being able to speak such a
difficult language.
No, they obviously made up stuff like that to impress outsiders; they
must have spoken something simpler.
--
There's nothing in Scripture that forbids letting our lawn
go wild. ---Garrison Keillor
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2020-02-17 17:27:17 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Dingbat
Subject: Does English have an aorist tense?
In my wording of the passage below, what is the tense of MEANS and
OBJECTS? Not present tense, what? So, do they function like the Greek
aorist?
Every few years I look up the meaning and function of the Greek aorist
tense. Shortly afterwards, I'm just as confused as before.
You have to admire those classical Greeks, being able to speak such a
difficult language.
I found Greek easier than Latin, especially as they didn't go in for
incredibly long sentences and they put their words in what an English
speaker would regard as a natural order. I could readily imagine people
actually speaking Greek, where as speaking Latin à la Cicero was
impossible to imagine. If they'd given us Plautus to study Latin might
have seemed less artificial, but they didn't.
--
athel
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