November 22nd, 2013


"Phew. For a minute there, I lost myself. I lost myself."

I can't say if there's a general ignorance at work when it comes to sentence-level verb tense consistency or if it's something peculiar to MMO role-players. I don't see it anywhere else online. I first encountered it in Second Life, where it's rampant, then in every single MMO I've played. Curiously, the problem always involves a shift from present tense to past tense. Example:

Joe draws his cap gun and shot the skunktaur in the butt.

- or -

"I wonder if this cuirass makes me look fat?" asks Sally, and then she sighed and ate another slice of last week's mammoth.

If I'd only seen this happen a few times, I wouldn't have thought much of it. But it's commonplace, and it's also annoying as hell. I have somehow managed never to correct anyone. I have to wonder if the logic at work here – I'm giving the perpetrators the benefit of the doubt and assuming they actually think before they type – goes something like this: The first half of a sentence should be in present tense, because it's happening first. The second half of the sentence should be in past tense, because it happens later." Also, if the tense shifters read books, then they would know better, right? Wouldn't they? They'd have inevitably learned by example or osmosis. Honestly, I don't get it. Okay, whatever. Enough remedial English for role-players.


I wish I had something good to say about yesterday. But I don't. The only work I got done was typing up a list of corrections that need to be made to "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics" for Subterranean Press.

Because I had the aforementioned appointment.

(An increasingly lazy habit we see online would have rendered that last sentence "Because the aforementioned appointment.")

Today must be productive.

Karma Police,
Aunt Beast