1

As a non-native speaker I'm having a hard time understanding why the author uses the present tense of 'begin' in the following sentence:

Sess was thinking about that as the rain started in and the wind begin to flail his face and hands [...]

Why isn't it 'began'?

The excerpt is from Drop City by T.C Boyle

  • 2
    You mean "began"? – user140086 Nov 19 '15 at 12:23
  • 1
    @Ricky Your word choice never ceases to surprise me. – user140086 Nov 19 '15 at 12:33
  • 2
    begin is also in the copy on Amazon. Search inside for flail. I know of no dialect that would use begin here. – TRomano Nov 19 '15 at 12:45
  • 1
    Well, as Andrew Leach of the Holy EL&U Inquisition so elegantly (and correctly) suggests, a hyperlinked e-text is likely to be corrupted one way or another. You shouldn't be using it. A library is a place where you can take a book, any book, out for free; and, should your book turn out to be missing, you can actually put in an order for it. Most schools have their own libraries, but there are also public libraries extant in most cities and towns. Also, Amazon.com offers "Drop City" by Boyle for just under $14, in both paperback and Kindle formats. Those are all legitimate sources. – Ricky Nov 19 '15 at 12:45
  • 2
    @Sprottenwels: My bad: I retract Kindle. I just got the Kindle version of a book I like periodically to re-read. Typos galore. I retract the hard copy suggestion: please accept my apologies. As for the typo being a typo: you'll have to take my word (and that of Andrew Leach) for it. Even if the entire sentence were written in the present tense, it would have to be "begins," not "begin." In all likelihood the original text has "began" in it. Someone needs to find out where the editor has lunch, go there and kick their ass. – Ricky Nov 19 '15 at 13:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.