torsdag, februar 24, 2005

Preterite or past tense?

While proof reading a translation of one of my own texts, cantankerous Martin and I got into a serious debate: Which one is better: past tense or preterite? The American translator has used the word preterite, which I quite like even though it is technical and old school. The Norwegian version has an emphasis on the grammatical terms. However cantankerous Martin argues that using preterite ruins the whole prose poem, whereas I do not want to lose the alliteration -pr -pr. Is the term past tense too mundane? Is preterite a word only stuck up old English teachers (and me) would use? I remember back in the Welsh days, when I made dinner with my American and Canadian friends: Me: - Oh well, I´ll fetch the cutlery and the crockery, The North Americans: - Ha!Ha!Ha! Cutlery and crockery, those are such Grand Ma words, Fridly! Me: - What am I supposed to say then? TNA: - Cups and plates, knifes and forks of course!
I feel that this whole preterite/past tense debate is of the same nature. A multification of words. I really like preterite.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonym said...

das tod und das mädchen,
i aften, Carte Blanche.
bli med, bli med!

( silje)

3:37 p.m.  
Blogger Susanne said...

The past sure is tense!

4:01 p.m.  
Blogger Ragnfrid Trohaug said...

Så ikke den før nå;hadde vi planlagt bedre, kunne vi vært med!God forestilling.

6:12 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonym said...

takk, det var fint. DER TOD, DER TOD. Jeg har kjent angsten trykke for at strømmen av pedantiske penner skulle flire av lykke, men nei, jeg kom dem i forkjøpet.

hørte nemlig rykter om at jeg spolerte en middag. det var ei med forelegg...

12:37 a.m.  

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