Bad tense! Bad tense!

rogersgeorge on September 8th, 2010

Maybe I’m on a misuse-of-the-present-perfect kick. Or perhaps a lot of people who should know better (they write professionally) have been making this mistake lately. Today’s goof comes compliments of a pretty good publication, Gizmag. Here’s the quote:

Over the next several days, we’ll be showing you a few examples that we’ve spotted at the show, but to start things off… well, let’s kick out the jams and go with the “Oh come on, you can’t be serious” ebike. It called the BlackTrail, and with a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), it’s officially the world’s fastest electric bicycle – and probably the most awesome-looking, to boot.

The show is in the past, and the spotting was a group of single events. Simple past, folks. They spotted some examples at the show; nice and clean, easy to read.

How might they have used the “we have spotted” correctly? Let’s change the event to the present, so their spotting can be still going on. And let’s add the progressive to make the idea of continuing activity clear. Now they can write about some bikes that they have been spotting for us. See? now it’s correct—something that has been going on, and continues even now.

Here’s the bike, by the way. It doesn’t look all that impressive to me. Might be fun to ride, though.

I don't think he knows how to dress for bicycling, either

If you’re into electric bicycles (I use a human-powered one), you might like to follow the series. Here’s a link to the first article in the series, which they will be writing. (Oo! A future progressive!)

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