(Updated) End of the world grammar | Bangkok Post: learning

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(Updated) End of the world grammar

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The world didn't end as predicted by Harold Camping and now news writers have started to use the past tense. 

Harold Camping, a California preacher, predicted the world would end yesterday. It didn't happen.

March 22, 2011: 10:00am

The world didn't end as Harold Camping said it would and now the news stories have changed to the past tense.  Here are two examples:

The Earth is still here

Click button to listen to Rapture and rightclick to download

The 89-year-old Family Radio broadcaster prophesied a great earthquake would cause believers to be swept up to heaven and saved by Jesus Christ while non-believers would stay on Earth to perish in the ensuing apocalypse.

Some American followers, where Camping is based, reportedly sold their possessions and quit their jobs to help spread the word. Doomsday ads stretched from the Middle East to Vancouver, reportedly costing the California-based preacher $100 million.  Sarah Douziech, the Province (vancouver, Canada)

After months of warnings and fear, the Day of Rapture, as predicted by apocalyptic Christian broadcaster Harold Camping, passed without apparent calamity. Judgment Day was to have started at 6 p.m., but as darkness fell on many parts of the world, it appeared that heaven could wait.

At this writing, there have been no reports of people soaring upward to the skies, but plenty of folks are talking about it.  CNN

broadcaster – a person whose job is presenting or talking on television or radio programmes ผู้กระจายเสียงทางวิทยุหรือโทรทัศน์
prophesy – to say what will happen in the future ทำนาย, พยากรณ์
heaven – the place believed to be the home of God where good people go when they die สวรรค์
ensue – to happen after something else, often as a result of it ที่ตามมา
apocalypse (adjective form: apocalyptic) – the end of the world when the earth is destroyed by God
reportedly – as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) ตามที่รายงาน
possessions – things owned ทรัพย์สมบัติ
spread – to gradually affect or cover a larger area แพร่กระจาย
Doomsday – the last day of the world when Christians believe that everyone will be judged by God วันโลกาวินาศ,วาระสุดท้าย,วันที่พระเจ้าพิพากษามนุษย์ทั้งหลายในโลก
preacher – a person, often a member of the clergy, who gives religious talks and often performs religious ceremonies, for example in a church นักเทศน์,ผู้แสดงธรรม
Day of Rapture – in the Christian religion, the time at the end of the earth when the Christians of the world will be gathered together in the air to meet Jesus Christ
predict – to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
apparent – seeming to be something although it may not be real ดูเหมือนว่า, ตามที่เห็นภายนอก
calamity – a bad event or serious accident causing damage or suffering เหตุการณ์ที่เลวร้าย
soar – to rise very quickly into the air บินสูงขึ้นไปในอากาศ, พุ่งพรวดขึ้น


May 21, 11:50


End of the world grammar

If Harold Camping, a preacher form Oakland, California, is right we still have a few hours left to learn some English. Below is transcript of what he told a television station a day or so a go. Notice how he refers to the future.

He uses two future forms, "going to" and "will". You will notice that he is very certain about what is going to happen today and that is why he mostly uses "will", e.g., the world will end today.


Click button to listen to Rapture 2 and rightclick to download


"On May 21, there's going to be a terrific earthquake, way, way greater than anything the Earth has ever experienced and that will be the beginning of Judgement Day. The rest of the world will know instantly that Judgement Day has begun because all the earthquake sensors will pick that up instantly and they will be able, until it comes to 6pm May 21 in their city, they will be able to witness what has happened there."

preacher – a person, often a member of the clergy, who gives religious talks and often performs religious ceremonies, for example in a church นักเทศน์,ผู้แสดงธรรม
transcript – a written or printed copy of words that have been spoken บันทึก
terrific – very large; very powerful มากมาย, น่ากลัวมาก,สยองขวัญ
earthquake – a sudden shaking movement of the ground  แผ่นดินไหว
way, way – much, much
Judgement Day – in the Christian religion, the day at the end of the World when God takes away those who will be saved and leaves the rest to die or go to Hell. วันสิ้นสุดของโลก, วาระสุดท้ายของโลก
instantly – immediately ทันที
sensor – a device that can react to light, heat, pressure, etc. in order to make a machine, etc. do something or show something อุปกรณ์ส่งสัญญาณที่ไวต่อแสงหรืออุณหภูมิ, ตัวเซ็นเซอร์
witness – to see something happen – มองเห็น, เป็นพยาน

14: 12 Bangkok time

Here is a chance to use the present perfect tense:

It is now 19:12 in Auckland, New Zealand and the predicted earthquakes have not occcurred.

And the past:

6pm came and went in the Christmas islands without incident, i.e., nothing bad happened.

More on this topic

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