"conceive (of)"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 10 02:01:16 UTC 2008

At 5:38 PM -0800 12/9/08, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>On Dec 9, 2008, at 5:22 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>Subject:      Re: "conceive (of)"
>>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...
>2) has different labels in English -- "past", "simple past",
>"preterite", "imperfect" -- but never, in my experience, "present
>perfect" (for English).
And I'd wager that "imperfect" is somewhat misleading here too.
Wouldn't that make more sense for what I guess would also be called
the past progressive, i.e. "I was acting"?


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