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COMMONLY MISUSED WORDS, PHRASES, & TENSES, 17

April 15, 2021

PHRASES OF THE DAY:

(1) “IT’S TIME WE LEFT HERE” VS “IT’S TIME WE LEAVE HERE”

(2) “IT’S HIGH TIME WE LEFT HERE” VS “IT’S HIGH TIME WE LEAVE HERE”

(3) NBB INFOTAINMENT: “STRONGER” BY JAH CURE

This is “No Bullshiting“, by Harry Agina.

Greetings, folks!

How do you say the above two sentences, and other sentences and phrases similar to them, which talk about SOMEBODY (or any animate being) doing SOMETHING? There is no strong consensus among, or, should I say, there is disagreement among grammarians, especially in respect of the first sentence that does not have the word “high” before the verb, ‘LEAVE’ or its past tense. The disagreement exists even among the owners of the English language, not to speak of those of us who learned English as a second language. I will start with the simpler phrase, “It’s time for somebody to do something,” and then graduate to “It’s HIGH time…”

Some “grammarians” say that both—“It is (or it’s) time we leave here,” and “It’s time we left here”—are correct. Others say that the present-tense of the verb ‘LEAVE’ is correct, thus: “It’s time we LEAVE here.” And, yet others insist that it should be the past tense ‘LEFT,’ thus: “It’s time we LEFT here.” So, there is no consensus on it. Personally, I tend to agree with the argument in favor of the present tense of the verb, ‘LEAVE,’ expressing that at this present moment, we SHOULD LEAVE here, now. A different way of putting it, which makes this argument sensible, is, “It’s time for us to LEAVE here, now.”

However, and this is actually my reason for this blog, it becomes a different ball game when the word ‘HIGH’ is added to the sentence. The word ‘high’ expresses that, whatever that “something” is, which somebody needs to do, is OVERDUE. It should have happened before now, which justifies the use of the past tense of the verb ‘leave.’ Hence, the correct sentence is “It’s high time we LEFT here.” Or, “It’s HIGH time we WERE LEAVING here.” A similar way of putting it is: “It’s ABOUT time we LEFT…like, what the hell has been keeping us until now? Personally, the phrase, “Like yesterday,” is a spontaneous response that I give when I want to emphasis the urgency of something that needs to be done. Let’s say, you ask me: “Would you like to see me?” My response in urgency—“Like yesterday, already”—comes spontaneously. It’s my way of emphasizing I quickly want to see you; that I actually wish it was possible to have seen you yesterday, already. That’s how urgently I would like to see you.

Taking us back to the application of the day, I repeat that “It’s HIGH time I SAW you” is correct, and NOT “It’s high time I SEE you.” The addition of the word “high” is intended to emphasize or intensify the need for it to happen immediately. It denotes that the act or action is actually OVERDUE in terms of URGENCY.

 In other words, it should have actually happened BEFORE NOW. IMPORTANTLY, the origin of the phrase—IT’S HIGH TIME—is traced back to the 13th century, referring to the warmest time in the day. People of that era were mostly farmers, and “this time marked the turning point in the day when you must have either gotten so much work done on the land (in the PAST early hours), or YOU MUST BEGIN DOING SO IMMEDIATELY.”

Unlike the more controversial basic sentence—“It’s time I SEE you,” versus “It’s time I SAW you,” which do not have the word ‘high’—it is generally agreed that, WHEN ‘HIGH’ IS ADDED, ONLY the past tense of the verb is correct, and not the present tense. Only a small minority seem to think that both present and past tenses (SEE and SAW) are correct when ‘high’ is added. I am in the MAJORITY who say that ONLY PAST TENSE IS CORRECT. So, in conclusion, I say that you should say: “It’s HIGH time we LEFT here,” or, “It’s HIGH time I saw you.” And NOT “It’s HIGH time we LEAVE here,” or “It’s HIGH time I SEE you.” I believe, that you trust, that I ain’t bullshitting ya, meeeeeeeen!!!

NBB INFOTAINMENT: “STRONGER” BY JAH CURE:

It’s time to give you another one of my gazillion “Lovers Rock” brand of reggae music from my Jamaica in-laws. This time, I bring you the mellow song of Jah Cure (“Don Corleone”), titled “STRONGER.” Jah Cure was born on October 11, 1978 in Hanover Parish, Jamaica. His first recognition came in 1997 when he released his single song titled “King of The Jungle,” which was a duet with another Jamaican artist, Sizzla. “Stronger” was released in 2013, after several hits in-between.

“Cure again, come to give you more…more of my time. Don Corleone, have come again to give you more and more of my time,” says the dude to his love in this song. “I tried a lifetime to find you. And all I ask for is just a moment of your time to remind you, and have the love that we’ve not made before, the reason you can’t close the door. I see confusion in your eyes, and maybe you’re a little surprised; the way we made love under the moon light. Tomorrow you may be used to the new life. Come away in a dream, because this world is not what it seems…” And on, and on, and on, as Jah Cure professes that his love is getting stronger and stronger every day.

Guess what; I picked this song purposely to feed off it to contribute my own little quota to the ongoing conversation on domestic squabbles and violence, which are on the increase these days in Nigeria where President Buhari’s terrible economy is creating untold economic tension between spouses. So, how about your own love, huh?

You, the woman; is your love for your man getting stronger despite the hard times? Or, are you only interested in the material things of life; to run away as soon as the going gets tough? Jah Cure reminds us here that we must look beyond riches and love the dude for his good personality. And I concur, with an addition to always bear in mind that your man can never be perfect? Of course, that’s provided that the dude is working hard to improve his lot to provide those goodies in the nearest future, because they do matter, too. And you also pull your own weight to contribute to the family progress. If he is lazy, that’s a different matter; but if he is a hard worker but Buhari’s terrible economy is frustrating him, then, cut him a slack, meeeeen! And show him love to encourage him to fight harder. Don’t be a constant pain in the ass whenever the man enters the house, meeeeeen!!!

And, you, dude, are you among those motherfuckers that we hear about every fucking day in gazillion stories of domestic violence, who use their women (wives or lovers) as punching bags to let off their frustration steam, huh, huh, huh??? If you are, then you are truly fucked-up in the brain, and I don’t mind telling ya, straight up in your face, if I get the chance. If you believe that you’re such a powerful dude, and you’re looking for fights; why the fuck don’t you go out there and challenge your fellow men of your own size and age, meeeeeeeeeen???!!!

And, here comes Jah Cure’s song, “Stronger”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fnjSInND4cApriA

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