A Tense Time

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A Tense Time

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:50 pm

Arthur and Bert were brothers.
Bert died.
The local paper said, "Arthur is Bert's brother".
Another paper said, "Arthur was Bert's brother".

Which would you say is correct?
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Bob in Wales

Re: A Tense Time

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:13 pm

Neither. Bert was Arthur's brother.
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Re: A Tense Time

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:16 am

Sneaky Erik!
@ @
. 0 .
\__/
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Re: A Tense Time

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:02 pm

This is a theological question.
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Re: A Tense Time

Post by Phil White » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:13 pm

My sister died a few years ago. If anyone asks me "do you have any brothers or sisters", I say "no, my sister died a few years ago". It would be most bizarre of me to say "yes, my sister died a few years ago".

Ergo "was".
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Re: A Tense Time

Post by JerrySmile » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:45 am

Now, after Bert's passing, can one still say:

They are brothers.

or only:

They were brothers.

Not in the eyes of God or of the eternity. In the eyes of the living around them.
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Re: A Tense Time

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:35 am

.. fellow WWs this is a very complex question that has this weary WW flummoxed .. no matter how I try I cannot convince myself which I would use if the need arose .. mostly I find that in matters such as these I repeat the constructions to myself over several days and eventually, with help from others, arrive at a preferred construction .. however this goes beyond that as it has all kinds of emotional overtones .. the closest I can come is in reference to two dead brothers-in-law .. I still refer to them as being my b-i-l Dick or my b-i-l Mal if I need to speak about them .. I realise they are dead but still speak of them as if they are absent and simply living some place else ..

.. still thinking on this one ..

WoZ out of practice for deep thinking
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Re: A Tense Time

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:28 am

Take heart WoZ, I am still thinking about it myself.
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