I read this in a book and it threw me a little bit. Should it not be "It was I who was being romantic about tradition" as it's talking about the past?

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, michael_timofeev, jimm101, TrevorD, Jason Bassford Mar 23 at 18:57

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The person who was being romantic was me. But the identity of the person has not changed. It still is me and it always will be.

No one can alter my history as we do not live in Oceania. Therefore any tense is logically correct. It is usual to use the present tense for statements that are not time dependant (the Earth goes round the Sun; I am that person). But we also commonly use the tense that matches the rest of the sentence as what was true at the time is most relevant. Thus both are correct. Some prescriptive grammarians may say that one is preferable.

It is the sort of thing that you don't notice in your own language but when I learnt another language (Gaelic) it was explicitly pointed out that both were valid.

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