Todarrow, todarrow, I love you, todarrow
This is the time of year during which stressed-out editors resort to the past-future-present verb tense to keep from falling behind on deadlines. I’ve written about it before, although I’ve never sat down to create a new set of conjugations for the verbs.
It’s like this: We, the Reno News & Review, publish on Thursdays. Certain holidays fall on Thursday. Thanksgiving, for example, always falls on the fourth Thursday in November. Christmas also falls on Thursday, this year. New Years is one week later, Thursday again.
What does this mean to you? Four-day weekends. What does it me for me? It means deadlines are 24 hours earlier because the pressmen need the holidays off with their families, too, so we publish on Wednesday. That gives us fewer days in the month in which to work and earlier deadlines. Writing in the past tense, I’d call that screwed.
However, as you read this, I’m in Falls City, Neb., and if it’s Thursday, I’m eating a huge Thanksgiving dinner with too many family members to name. If it’s Friday, I’m at my dad’s wedding. Yeah, he’s 70. Yeah, he had to get married. Yeah, I was kidding about that—the “had to get married” part.
Did you notice how quickly I slipped from the present to the future to the past again? Some people would just call it bad grammar. I call it grammatically innovative.
Instead of worrying that I haven’t heard from BVD, I’m slathering a big hunk of breast meat with full-fat mayonnaise. Instead of dreading the sucky lines at our international airport, I’m taking a nap on the bed I slept on growing up.
So let’s see: Today, I relax. Yesterday, I relaxed. Tomorrow, I’ll relax. Todarrow, I’m relaxing.
I don’t need a new verb. I need a new noun.
RTV No. 3: Some candidates stand for the same things you do.