Author Topic: Are the tenses confused?  (Read 1049 times)

Offline CarrieSheppard

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Are the tenses confused?
« on: January 15, 2007, 11:30:30 AM »
This is a piece for a business magazine, I'm not sure if the tenses are confused or if I'm just not reading it right.  Thoughts please? 

Thanks, Carrie

Everybody understood the business reasons for closing the brewery in Wandsworth in 2006, but after an unbroken 425 years of brewing on the site, emotions were running high; it was as if a family was breaking up.

In the lead-up to the closure, the pressure was on. Reputation and productivity had to be maintained despite a significant number of impending redundancies. Record production levels during the brewery’s final weeks are testament to the professional, caring approach taken by Ythe HR team, with the support of outplacement specialists from The People Development Team. When the gates closed after the final brew, people walked away with their heads held high.

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Re: Are the tenses confused?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 12:12:36 PM »
The only correction I'd make is changing 'are testament' to 'were testament'

Oh, and I think there's a stray Y in Ythe HR team

Offline Nick

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Re: Are the tenses confused?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 12:32:59 PM »
I don't see any problem with this myself. Yes, you could change it to "were testament", but actually I prefer the present tense: "The record product levels are testament to the professional, caring approach taken by the HR Team." Even though this happened in the past, the figures are still a testament to it, if you see what I mean. Also, from a marketing angle, I think "are testament" has more power and impact than the past tense version.

Another option would be to replace the expression with a verb - "The record product levels testify to the professional, caring approach taken by the HR Team." Maybe that's slightly better?

Nick
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 12:34:50 PM by Nick »
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Offline Sin

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Re: Are the tenses confused?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 03:29:04 PM »
I agree with Nick's assessment because while the piece is speaking of something in the past, the phrase 'in the brewery's final weeks' makes it more recent. If I were just an average reader, I would assume from that sentence that the doors haven't quite shut, but the official last date of production is quite near.

Nick's alternative sentence is also good. :)
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Offline CarrieSheppard

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Re: Are the tenses confused?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 03:43:45 AM »
Thanks all!

Carrie