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I work in a software company and I write daily reports. The format of my daily reports look more or less like below:

Today

  • Fixed bug in login page

Tomorrow

  • Fixes bug in logout page

My questions are:

  1. Is Fixed bug XXX grammatically correct or not? If not, how should I write it?
  2. Is Fixes bug YYY (in tomorrow) grammatically correct or not? If not, how should I write it in a correct form?
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you’re saying what you did today, then fixed bug is fine. If you’re saying what you’re doing tomorrow, it would be normal to write fix bug, as a note, in imperative form, to remind yourself and others what you’ll be doing.

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I would think an imperative in a daily report is a good way to get sacked. Fortunately the form is ambiguous: The plan is to fix the bug => Fix bug. –  TimLymington Dec 12 '11 at 10:13
    
@TimLymington: In this context, 'imperative' is a description of a verb form, nothing else. –  Barrie England Dec 12 '11 at 10:15
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If it's really just a description of a verb form, shouldn't you call it an infinitive and not an imperative? –  Peter Shor Dec 12 '11 at 12:07
    
@PeterShor: You could. It depends on how the writer regards it. –  Barrie England Dec 12 '11 at 12:10
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A 'daily report', technically, can only contain what you did that day. If you include what you are going to do tomorrow, it's a plan, not a report. So for the bug in the logout page, you should say 'fix bug'.
"Today's bug" (eg in the login page) is ambiguous, depending on whether the fix is before or after the report. If you fixed it in the morning and write the report in the afternoon, 'fixed bug' is fine. If you are in the middle of the job, say 'fixing bug'. If you are planning to get to it later today, say 'fix bug' again, or (for clarity) 'will fix bug'.

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I think I understand your point. I also update my question to make it clearer what I usually in the email. –  Anonymous Dec 12 '11 at 10:55
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If you are speaking of yourself as the agent, it would never be appropriate to use the third person ("fixes a bug"). If you are speaking of your work, it is not wrong to use the present tense to describe what it accomplishes.

A simple Google search for "this release fixes a bug" returns close to three million results in which the present tense is used to describe an activity that has already occurred. (N.B. The corresponding search for "this release fixed a bug" turns up a mere 800,000 entries.)

Remember that the present tense is also used to describe an ongoing condition or continuing state (see How do the English tenses correspond temporally to each other).

Using the present tense is appropriate here, and, curiously, using the past tense would possibly cast doubt on the accomplishment (which may be why the Google search for the past-tense construction turns up so relatively few hits). If I say "this release fixed a bug" it might imply that the fix was no longer successful, and something came along which counteracted it.

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"What I did yesterday fixes the login problem" is certainly technically correct, but it's unusual if not confusing in a daily report, particularly if (I surmise) English is not OPs first language. –  TimLymington Dec 13 '11 at 9:56
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