I was wondering if someone would be kind enough to comment on when, if ever, each of the following sentences could or should be constructed with each of the following verb tenses in, say, a journal article:

"Many investigators (theorize, theorized, have theorizied) that J.F.K. was assasinated by more than one person."
"The archaeological discovery (was called, has been called) the greatest single find in the last twenty years?"
Thanks a million for the help.
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Bernard wrote on 10 Apr 2005:
I was wondering if someone would be kind enough to comment on when, if ever, each of the following sentences ... than one person." "The archaeological discovery (was called, has been called) the greatest single find in the last twenty years?"

Tense in English is like a woman's outfit. Everything has to match: shoes, hose, accessories, necklace, bracelets, earrings, lipstick, eye shadow, and, of course, the clothing. Any one of those sentences might fit nicely into an article, but which tense to use is determined by what tense was used to begin the article and then what tense what used to continue it. It's a style problem that can't be solved without the discourse the sentence is supposed to fit into.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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Bernard writes

I was wondering if someone would be kind enough to ... called) the greatest single find in the last twenty years?"

Tense in English is like a woman's outfit. Everything has to match: shoes, hose, accessories, necklace, bracelets, earrings, lipstick, eye ... continue it. It's a style problem that can't be solved without the discourse the sentence is supposed to fit into.

Nicely put. As Dr Franke points out, tense is a style matter in writing. Because there are so many choices, many publishing venues use boilerplate style sheets specific to particular disciplines (like the proper way to write up a chemical synthesis or a psychological experiment) that often specify precisely which tense is to be used for what kind of thing in each section of the paper.
-John Lawler U of Michigan Linguistics Dept
http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler/disclaimers.html
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Tense in English is like a woman's outfit. Everything has to match: shoes, hose, accessories, necklace, bracelets, earrings, lipstick, eye shadow, and, of course, the clothing.

Images like this amuse me. I'm a woman, but the only things on this list I'm wearing are clothing and if we count a wedding ring accessories. I understand that women who wear all that stuff exist, but I don't ever seem to meet them.

SML
shoeless and in the kitchen
Tense in English is like a woman's outfit. Everything has ... bracelets, earrings, lipstick, eye shadow, and, of course, the clothing.

Images like this amuse me. I'm a woman, but the only things on this list I'm wearing are clothing and ... accessories. I understand that women who wear all that stuff exist, but I don't ever seem to meet them.

I have to say I've almost never seen anyone who has all of those matching - including the lipstick and the eyeshadow.

Katy Jennison
spamtrap: remove the first two letters after the @
Images like this amuse me. I'm a woman, but the ... that stuff exist,but I don't ever seem to meet them.

I have to say I've almost never seen anyone who has all of those matching - including the lipstick and the eyeshadow.

Married one once; cost a fortune, and hair was a total bloody nightmare every morning. But, to be fair, she grew out of it and now has a well-earned DPhil. A while back I asked my hairdresser about my enlarged pores, saying "You're a beautician": she said "I'm only a hairdresser."
(Why do I now want to mention that a gay friend of that Guardian columnist said, "Men? Huh! A man will shag a wall if it's wearing blue eye-shadow"?)

Mike.
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I was wondering if someone would be kind enough to comment on when, if ever, each of the following sentences ... in, say, a journal article: "Many investigators (theorize, theorized, have theorizied) that J.F.K. was assasinated by more than one person."

"Theorize" if you are talking about what they say now. "Theorized" if you are talking about what they said at some time in the past, but want to suggest it has changed now (if the truth is now known, say, or if nobody cares any more). "Have theorized" (one I) if you are talking about what they said at some time in the past, but don't want to suggest that it has changed.
Four S's in "assassinated".
"The archaeological discovery (was called, has been called) the greatest single find in the last twenty years?"

"Was called" if you mean to suggest that people would no longer say that, "has been called" if you don't.

Mark Brader, Short words good; sesquipedalian verbalizations undesirable Toronto, (Email Removed) after George Orwell

My text in this article is in the public domain.
Images like this amuse me. I'm a woman, but the ... stuff exist, but I don't ever seem to meet them.

I have to say I've almost never seen anyone who has all of those matching - including the lipstick and the eyeshadow.

Well, "matching" can mean that they just "go together," can't it? That is, the lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, mascara, hair color, accessories, clothing colors, etc., can complement each other rather than clash.

I'm speaking of "theory," of course. I've never managed to have the whole thing work. If I look fairly good otherwise, then there will be a hem coming loose somewhere, or a run (BrE ladder) in my hose, or my best trick ever I'll fall, ungracefully, and with nary a sympathy-inducing injury, while dancing. (And I don't even drink.)

Most days, facing the world is a humbling experience.

Maria Conlon
Images like this amuse me. I'm a woman, but the ... stuff exist, but I don't ever seem to meet them.

I have to say I've almost never seen anyone who has all of those matching - including the lipstick and the eyeshadow.

You would if you would go to the place that ladies that lunch go.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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