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But Geoff asked, "Are we oversimplifying by arguing for blanket
present tense?" I now think there's an argument for, AS MUCH AS
POSSIBLE, KEEPING EVERYTHING IN THE PRESENT TENSE--ease,
simplicity, grace, economy of style. If more information is
needed in the case of the above sentence, add it like this:
The yellow indicator light flashes to let you know printing
is about to begin. If the print job cannot complete, an
error messages appears in the indicator window on the front
of the printer.
I am about to nit-pick here, but I see this a lot and it bugs me to no end:
the use of the verb
"complete" as an intransitive verb. AAAAACK! According to every dictionary
I've ever looked in,
"complete" is a transitive verb, meaning it requires a direct object. To
say a "print job cannot
complete" is incorrect use of the word. And while I dislike passive voice
as much as the
next writer, a print job "is completed!"