Die and Died in a title

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Die and Died in a title

Post by pdh0224 » Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:41 pm

Dear teacher,

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,

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Post by Alan » Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:42 am

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.

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