Haha. That's easy to also say realistically and without time travel, though the phrase "I've my license" is more contrived than "I've received [other verb] my license." You don't need to tell me how contrived my sentence is, though.
I don't want to get too hung up on this, but I'm still thinking there's a distinction (whether or not there's a legit contraction is less important, and now I'm more interested if there's a valid distinction for what I described). I also really don't want to resist your refutation on principle, but I get the feeling that xkcd is the correct forum for such discussion, so I hope this is okay. Let me know if it's gotten to the point of being annoying.
VectorZero wrote:what you are trying to convey is exactly the meaning of future perfect. That is, in the future, something happened in the future's past.
Well, what I was trying to convey wasn't just the "future's past," it was the "future's past's past." I.e., Referring to a point in the future where you are reflecting back on an intermediate point in time.
Scenario: If I complete a task on day 1 and my friend completes a task on day 2, then on day 4 I will be able to look back on day 3 and state "back then (i.e. back on day 3), I had completed the task before my friend."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in this case, there is a distinction between "I completed the task before my friend" and "I had completed the task before my friend," yes?
Also, on day 0, if I'm referring to day 1 (when I complete the task), I can say "I will have completed the task before my friend."
But, if on day 0 (first point of reference) I'm thinking forward to day 4 (second point of reference), I can refer back to day 3 with day 4 as my point of reference and say, "I will have had completed the task before my friend." I don't think it's sufficient to say, "I will have completed the task before my friend," as this isn't reflecting back on a day (day 3) previous to the future day (day 4). Phew.