the small semi-spoiler about The Handmaid's Tale would seem to be unacceptable here because: - this is not an article about the book - the spoiler has nothing to do with Historical Present — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 11:50, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Is the "historical present" the same as the "perpetual present tense" briefly mentioned in Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles#Check your fiction? --22.214.171.124 (talk) 14:16, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
- Not really. Something not currently mentioned in this article is that the historical present frequently expresses a completed action — something which the simple present tense in English generally can't do (because a completed action, by definition, either ended in the past or will end in the future). In effect, the historical present expresses an aorist or perfective verbal aspect without explicitly placing an action in any specific point in time. As soon as I can find some sources that say this, I'll update the article accordingly. Richwales (talk) 22:14, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
"Historical" or "Historic"?
The Third (1996) of edition of "Fowler's Modern English Usage" makes a clear distinction between the words "historic" and "historical" and calls the "use of the present tense instead of the past in vivid narration" as "historic past", not "historical past", see: Fowler, H. W. (1996) , Burchfield, R.W., ed., The New Fowler's Modern English Usage (3 ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 361, ISBN 0-19-869126-2
- The deciding factor should be current usage among linguists (WP:COMMONNAME)... -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:20, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Is this the same, or considered to be, the same tense?Osborne 13:33, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Is the historical present tense unencyclopaedic?
The use of the historical present in WP articles can be confusing to those with English as a first language, even more so to others. Is there a WP ruling etc. about this, e.g. as being unencyclopaedic? If so, l feel it should be mentioned here, with a link. If not, I propose that it should be addressed. I would like to be able to quote such a ruling when clarifying articles, or suggesting such clarification. GilesW (talk) 15:55, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
- @G-W: What a coinkydink, I ended up here looking for the same answer. It seems MOS:TENSE does the best job of explaining this, although it doesn't mention the most notable example: the rampant use of "would" to describe past situations. "The Patriots would go on to win the Super Bowl." "Hitler would invade Poland in 1939." This use of "would" is very popular in TV documentaries, but it's not correct. "Would" should be used for hypothetical situations, such as "I would like to be able to quote such a ruling when clarifying articles." It's also used for situations that repeated in the past: "When I lived here I would always eat at this restaurant." See this edit I made a while back. See how much better it flows when using true past tense? Lizard (talk) 02:05, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
- Thanks for the link to [MOS:TENSE]. Agreed re 'would'. I like your edit very much. I feel strongly about 'neglect, misuse and damage' of good grammar by the use of similar trendy newspeak especially where it reduces intelligibility. [MOS:TENSE] is weak re the correct use of the past tense, which is tacked onto a paragraph about the use of the present tense and the misuse of the past tense. A separate paragraph is needed. Is this something you could address? GilesW (talk) 13:23, 4 April 2016 (UTC)