English grammar questions, answered by Alan
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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"?
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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.