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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Future Quotations

Dude! Check out this BBC news article. The first part is written almost entirely in the future tense. I suppose that's not terribly weird, but don't future quotations like like

""No matter what you want to do with your life - I guarantee you'll need an education to do it," he will say."

strike you as a little bit awkward? Or

"Being successful is hard," Mr Obama will say - and he will point to figures such as JK Rowling and Michael Jordan, who he will say overcame initial failures in order to find success."

Couldn't the author have taken the indirect quotation route,, saying something like "Obama will say that studying is important" rather than quoting something that hasn't actually been said yet?

Also, allow me one SNOOT moment: "But even before President Obama had delivered his speech, it was attracting criticism from conservatives." Does the author not innately know that the pluperfect tense is used to show the temporal relation between two events in the past? Why would he possibly use it to try to describe a future event? Maybe he's just planning to use the line again next week.

I guess the real question is why I continue to read BBC news briefs despite how frequently the grammar frustates me. Is it possible to be a linguo-masochist?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Price of Travel, part 1.1

A small update:

In addition to costing over $1000 a month, traveling also causes you to lose between 5 and 7 kilos and reduces your pullup skills by 30-50 percent. I think I am now officially scrawnier than I was in high school - a feat which I had previously assumed impossible.