From: Xui (email@example.com)
Message-Id: <200410192302.i9JN2ENk009365@masaka.cs.ohiou.edu> From: Xui <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: tcptrace-bugs Is YESTERDAY a past time? Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 07:02:23 +0800
Interesting grammar problem: Is Yesterday a past time?
If yes, I don't know how to define past. Please tell us how to recognize a time as past!!
When we were a child and could not analyze anything, we were taught that Yesterday is a definite past time adverb (so we use Simple Past). But as now we some common sense, we may ask, how to define a time as past? As long as we have Today, there is Yesterday, for example. Since Today will not be ended and disappear, so will not Yesterday. You may say it is a relative past, but hardly a definite past. But as we shall see below, it is not even past at all.
To be fair, however, we admit there is past time. We agree 25April2003 is a past, because we don't have another 25April2003 again. It has gone and never comes back anew, so it is past. We actually understand what is past. However, we will forever have a new Yesterday!! If we regard 25April2003 as Yesterday, on the next day, we will call 26April2003 as Yesterday. On another day, we still have another Yesterday: 27April2003. Even today, we still have Yesterday. Deductive reasoning and common sense tell us that tomorrow we may still have another new Yesterday, so will next week. However, if in the future we still have another new Yesterday, which has not yet come by now, how can we say it is past? It is not even a past at all.
If Yesterday is forever here and never gone, how comes they say Yesterday is a past time? Even worse, how can they conclude Yesterday is a definite past?
Yesterday is just an example. Ultimately, the basic question is, what is the standard to define a time as past, even a definite past? My point is very obvious: One can hardly define what is past.
Your opinion is welcome.
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