July 15, 2005

Former Formation Confusion ??!!

July 15, 2005 Posted by Vijay 7 comments
Ok, this has been beating me for quite sometime now. Imagine you come from school(if not, when you will, you can imagine then :P). Assume you were not the school captain and another of your classmate, Mr. X was. Both of you meet after 2-3 years after schooldays are over. Now, you are with your friend,Y, and you want to introduce X to Y. How would you do it in terms of referring to X being school captain ??

You say:

1. "X was our school captain."
2. "X was our former school captain."
3. "X is our former school captain."

I guess, all the three options are correct, depending on whether X is alive or not. If he is a former school captain and he is alive, option 3 and option 1 is correct.And option 2 would hold true when he is not alive .

Yeah, I think my confusion is over. :D


Nettie said...

Ooooh, clever!

Minal said...

Thank goodness ur confusion is over ;)

Jocelyn said...

Aha!And you almost got me confused!

Vijay said...

In fact option 1 holds true even when X is not alive.

Anonymous said...

"X was our school captain."
The trouble here is that 'was' gives the impression that X held the post for a very long time , then resigned from it and that it was the last important position he held.

"X was our former school captain."
Terrible. Makes it sound as though 'Former School Captain' was the designation that he held

"X is our former school captain."
Same as previous. Except that you're now mixing present and past tenses. Really?

"X had been our school captain" OR "X used to be our school captain"

These are good bets. The use of 'had been' indicates a previously existing,ephemeral status now no longer valid. Ditto with 'used to be'

Lazith Aziz said...

Hi Vijay,

No confusion out there.

You can just put it "Mr.X was our school captian"

Btw let me see this a page hit campaign , neva mind! Will see this as a creative mind at work...

Aslan said...

In our school days, X was the captain.