English grammar questions, answered by Alan
- Gold Member
- Posts: 472
- Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:02 am
Christopher Reeve, 52, Symbol of Courage, Dies
Q : This is a title of an article, but something is odd to me. Why is a present tense "die" used instead of a past tense "died"?
All the best,
- EC Teacher
- Posts: 12924
- Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
- Status: English Teacher
- Location: Japan
This is an instance of a rhetorical device known as a 'historic present' where, to produce a more graphic or 'immediate' effect, a present tense is used to relate a past event. It is popular with storytellers as well as the standard form for newspaper headlines.