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Why-was?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,770
Thanks: 33
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Registered: 08-10-2010

Why-was?

A friend of mine died recently (strange circumstances, the coroner recorded 'cause of death,ascertained'. He has suspended the inquest until next year.
But my question is,why do we say "He/She WAS a lovely person?".
I'd they were alive and their character changed I could understabd it, but someone's xgaracter ,when they die, remains the same. And they remain, in your memory,"a lovely person". So, forgive me if I think and say "He is a lovely person". The subject of my sentence is his character not his state of living.
3 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Why-was?

I assume it is because by saying "they are a lovely person", it would infer they were still alive.
Saying "he was a lovely person" can mean that he is no longer with us but will be remembered as a lovely person but could also mean that in the past he was a lovely person but has since changed.
The English language can be an interesting creature sometimes.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Why-was?

I think "He will always be remembered as a lovely person" would be a more apt way of putting it.
nanotm
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Posts: 5,671
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Why-was?

because regardless of the truth its considered ominous to speak ill of the dead (once your aware of there demise)
which is why no matter what someone was like in reality there almost never described truthfully once dead (a eulogy for someone I knew who was an utter ********************************** only mentioned that ;"he had a kind manner" not one mention of the fact he was an utter sociopath)


NB. the stars are there because like most people I'm mildly superstitious
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you