"conceive (of)"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 10 01:22:22 UTC 2008

My terminology may be somewhat antiquated, given that it's grammatical
terminology from fifty years ago, itself based on English "grammar"
from possibly fifty years before then. Perhaps nummbering would be
more transparent:

1) I act
2) I acted
3) I have acted

But it seems to me that there was once wide variation in the
terminology and a person was forever having to translate the
terminology that he was reading or hearing into the terminology to
which he was accustomed on the basis of the example(s) provided.

I admit to making no attempt to maintain currency in the use of such
terminology. If it's latterly - from my point of view - become
standardized, I'm unaware of it, unfortunately.

Mark, if I'd known that non-conforming or, I'm willing to grant, if
that helps, mistaken terminology, even in a post as trivial as mine,
was a pet peeve of yours, I would have gone to Wikipedia before I

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 4:00 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "conceive (of)"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 1:26 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>> But, at this point in time, the development of English seems to be
>> trending toward the loss of the Present Perfect in favor of the
>> Perfect, whereas German and the Romance languages appear to have a
>> preference for the Present Perfect-equivalent, to the detriment of the
>> Perfect.
> That paragraph confuses me; would you please elucidate your
> terminology?  In (AFAIR) all that I was taught and all I have learned
> of and about English, "perfect" = "present perfect", e.g. "I have
> approved" (unless you're speaking categorially of "the perfect
> tense*s*"). I would call "I approved" an example of the simple past
> tense.
> m a m
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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