Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Verb Tenses Tell The Story

So I was doing a little web clickery, looking up food deserts - places, mostly urban, where supermarkets are scarce or nonexistent. I came across this beard-stroker of an article in which the well-meaning author seems mystified about the reasons urban residents don't have access to decent food. The article was practically worthless, but the comments were a gold mine.

As I read through the comments, the same theme came up over and over again, well represented by the excerpt below. The content was great, if a bit ragged in the grammar and punctuation, but more telling were the verb tenses and the flow of time implicit in the prose.
If you have ever been to Trenton New Jersey you would find no Grocery stores there. They all moved out because of the robbery's and murders. That is a state capital too. Looks like a war zone. All the good people have left the city and the state for better places to live and raise their families. I am sure that this is something that is happening all over America today.
 "(A)ll moved out" and "have left" are the tip offs. If you go back in time, it appears that Trenton did not have food deserts. If you go back in time, Trenton didn't have out-of-control illegitimacy rates, either. Hmm.

1 comment:

Tina848 said...

They subsidized a grocery store in a "Food Desert" in Philly. Unfortunately, people don't really want to eat their veggies when there is a McDonald's around the corner.