Friday, August 08, 2008

Present Tense in the Future Tense.

As you read this, I'm up North at an undisclosed location, chasing after my son and trying to please my wife.

I'm making use of Blogger's "Scheduling" which you can use to write blogs in the present tense yet post in the future tense, making it look like you're writing in the present tense. Got that?

I've used this feature a few times in the past, but had a few struggles. Not with the tooling, but with my tenses.

If you write in the present tense (e.g. I'm writing this blog), yet plan to post in the future tense (e.g. I will write this blog tomorrow), what tense should you use? Think about it, it's kind of complicated. Here's an example.

Let's say you're writing about the stock market. As I write this, the DOW is down almost 150 points. However, I have no idea what the DOW will be tomorrow when this post goes public. So if I write "The DOW is down 150 points" yet post this message tomorrow at 8AM, my readers (the few of you who read my crazy thoughts) might be confused.

My solution to conundrum is simple. Write about subjects that have a low probability of changing between the present tense and the future tense (which you plan on masking as the present tense).

As for this post, I'm assuming that the meaning of present and future tense won't change between now and tomorrow morning. Safe bet.

How would you solve this problem? Do you see it as a problem?


Scooter said...

Um...WOW does that first sentence ever sound like more information than any of your friends ever need.

I generally refuse to schedule. More out of laziness than for any other reason. I can't write about the present as often as I intend to. What makes me think I can write about the future. And I majored in writing with a focus on dystopias. If I write about the future, everyone is going to think I'm goth because I talk about how dismal I expect everything to be.

Mac Noland said...

Please avoid using the term "dystopias" around me. It makes me think of a management meeting I used to attend.