April 2: this person might have

The pluperfect is a tense that makes you fear the worst. I had mentioned to you that you needed to write that report but I noted that you had not filed it. It looks back to a earlier time which is now irrecuperable. If you are using the pluperfect someone has missed the boat. When I hear someone piping up with the pluperfect I set my mouth in an attitude of stoic acceptance, I nod gently, my mode is melancholy, for nothing can now be changed.
Tenses have their own ways. Today I saw a girl with a tee-shirt that said This girl can , which is a boast that both empowers and disempowers the wearer. It empowers, I suppose, with its sentiment, but it disempowers with its use of the word ‘girl’. The wearer was no girl. She was a woman. You wonder what the effect of This boy can might be. Or This man can. Or a gender neutral version. This is all a political minefield. and that is without changing the tenses. I see myself as more of a This person might kind of tee-shirt wearer. Or a This person could have, which would be a melancholy boast, lying out there in the distant swamps of the Conditional perfect, the land that time forgot.


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