In French, among the myriad of other tenses which one may use, there are the Passé Simple and the Passé Composé. These two tenses have become synonomous in French. Their distinguishing factor, in an annoyingly frivolous twist of grammatical fate, is the type of communication being used. The passé simple is used in literature whereas the passé composé is used in every other form of human interaction which aspires to convey information through language.
To illustrate their differences, let us take what would be their equivalent English tenses for the verb “to forget.” The passé simple version would be “I forgot,” the passé composé would be “I have forgotten.” While reading this, you may wonder “Why does he care? They are synonomous.” However, if you are wondering this, then you would be mistaken and also very bad at spotting archane verb formations. (There is a lovely passive voice and an extra teutonic “ten” in the latter.) But, beyond the inequality of both sound and shape, the two have subtle differences in meaning. The verb “to arrive” illustrates this well. The passé simple is ”I arrived,” the passé composé is “I have arrived.” The first would imply that, although you did arrive at one point, so long ago was the act done that you are most likely no longer at the location. The second suggests that you have only arrived a short time ago and so it is very likely that you are still at the location. In French, no such distinction is made. The passé composé originally was analogous with the English present perfect which refers to the past but in that sort of wishy-washy, time-doesn’t-apply way which suggests that whatever has happened is relevant or affecting that which is happening now. Whether you have arrived or you did arrive bears no relevance on the present any longer.
Speaking of the verb “to bear,” it is another verb which creates immense difference between the simple and perfect past. (If you are currently asking yourself “From whence did that transition come?” you should re-read the final sentence of the second paragraph very carefully and stop asking questions.) The simple past and the past perfect of this verb require a complete change of subject. ”I was born.” ”She bore me.” Not only does the second leave much room for question, (“Was she carrying you? Were you her child? Was she pregnant?”) but also takes away one’s independence. Imagine, for a moment, if we applied the same arbitrary nonsense to music that the French do to literature. Suddenly, Cher is no longer the main character of “Gypsies, Tramps, and Theives.” (She bore me in the wagon of a traveling show… Then what? She dropped you? She bore you elsewhere as well?)
I do give the French some credit, however, for choosing to keep the most interesting-looking verb tense in written form.
Always apologize first. Postponing an apology does no one involved any good. Always wait, of course, until you have calmed down and thought through your apology, lest you seem insincere or rude. However, waiting too long may be useless as the damage may already be done.
Be sure to be sincere in your apology, if you don’t mean what you say, the receiver will not believe or accept it. In order to show that you care about the relationship, be specific. Say exactly what it is that you are sorry for, do not leave the receiver with the feeling that you weren’t paying attention to their emotions. If you don’t know exactly what you have done wrong, apologize for upsetting the receiver.
The only exception to this rule of apologizing first is the case of a specific, unprovoked attack which rarely if ever happens. More often than not, both parties involved in a situation–in which one or both were harmed–are to blame. Apologizing first allows for the other person to feel comfortable to apologize. Apologizing first also allows for discussion about what caused the argument, how each person was harmed, and ways that a situation similar to the one in question could be avoided in the future.
Apologies are simple but extremely important to a healthy relationship of any kind, romances, friendships, families or others. So, swallow your pride, admit your mistake, and apologize.
The first and arguably most important guideline for a healthy relationship is that even if you are grateful, the person to whom you are grateful will not realize this of their own accord. It is uncomfortable to assume that someone is grateful, it makes one feel full of oneself. It is much easier to sincerely and verbally express ones gratitude to another rather than to leave the providing party assuming things about the grateful party. Assumption, which will be addressed in a later guideline, is a dreadful thing to introduce into a relationship and should be avoided at all cost. A simple “Thank you” in a sincere tone on an individual level creates warmth and bonding between two people in a relationship very quickly.
A video of you telling wealthy donors that 47% of Americans would vote for Barack Obama regardless of any events that happen along the campaign recently surfaced. I’m afraid that I would be among these voters whose stance cannot be wavered. I am not entirely sure if that places me among the 47% or not, I’m not certain of which criteria you use to determine these 47%. You seemed to be alluding that these voters do not think about their voting. I would have to say that this is quite contrary to my situation.
In order to aid you in understanding the reason my vote would go to Barack Obama, I have compiled a list of issues important to me. They are as follows.
1. The Economy:
Barack Obama has experience dealing with the economy. As near as I can tell, it has been his primary focus for the last four years. The only economic experience you seem to have, as you repeat ad nauseam, is a position of seniority at Bane Capitol. Certainly you understood economics on a basic level, however, I doubt that this occupation required much thought on how to help others.
I believe that every resident of the United States deserves healthcare. I believe that government should regulate the healthcare system. It has seemed bizarre to me since I was a small child that the government would regulate things like roads, schools, and the post offices, but would stop short of getting involved in something as basic as hospitals and doctors offices. Obama has made the greatest strides to help correct this oversight.
As a citizen of the United States, I understand and accept the fact that I must pay taxes if I want government services – which aid you and I both daily – to continue. I am willing to pay my fair share and I hope that you recognize that your contribution of a proportionally more accurate amount in taxes would benefit the American People beyond what you may think is possible.
4. Civil Rights:
I support Marriage Equality, Gay Rights, Immigrant Rights, and Social Equality. I cannot bear to think that in the year 2012 – 236 years after our Founding Fathers declared independence based on the ideas of equality, 147 years after the abolition of slavery, 92 years after women gained the right to vote, 48 years after the Civil Rights Act, 45 years after the ban on interracial marriage was lifted – that we have yet to allow every resident of the United States equal rights.
I cannot understand your position on the issues, but were I to wonder if I could begin to accept them as my own, I would not be able to find a clear stance of yours. Your views seem to change with the views of your donors. The idea of giving my consent to run the country to a man who will change his ideas as a business changes its product to fit the market terrifies and sickens me.
I hope that this helps to explain why I will not vote for you, Governor. You simply do not support the issues that are most important to me.
Sincerely and Concernedly,
Sadness rang low in the words that hit the ears of those downtrodden few.
They, whom had so unwittingly followed the path of the legless wretch,
left the garden in shame;
They–whose hunger for fiendish knowledge stood over virtue,
whose true damnation lies
in streets yet to be paved,
in wars yet to be fought,
in towers yet to be built and felled,
in lives never to be saved,
in bombs yet to blow,
guns yet to shoot,
water yet to pollute,
skies yet to blacken,
poisoned seeds yet to sow,
with animals waiting for slaughter,
with trees yet to be cut,
with bodies yet to writhe and bleed
waiting for the burning cauter,
with tears yet to be shed,
children yet to cry,
mothers yet to weep,
fathers yet to die,
babies yet to wake from gentle sleep,
soldiers yet to fight,
and the starving never to be fed–
wept for what they had done.
They wept for their children,
for generations after them,
for heartbreak to be had,
for love to be lost,
for paradise to be burned and gone.