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Old 12-02-2009, 06:12 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Did the author wish to convey that the snow started to fall and fell for some really long time, at some distant time in the past that is now over? Or did he wish to convey that the snow started to fall and has not yet stopped falling? I submit that that his statement easily means the latter as much as the former.
I respectfully disagree. It's in simple past tense which is not normally used to convey the latter.

Quote:
But that's really his fault for using such a contrived sentence structure.
Again I disagree. Reading "nor" as "and not," we can rewrite the sentence as "The snow fell and did not stop [falling]." The unusual sentence structure does not change the tense.

The meaning you suggest is normally conveyed by the present perfect tense ("The snow fell and has not stopped.") or the present tense ("The snow fell and still falls.").

The whole point of these different tenses is to accurately express the different concepts involved. "Did not stop" doesn't mean the same thing as "has not stopped," and I'm not aware of people using the former when they mean the latter.