Of course, we could say the same thing for more than just tense! The failure to distinguish between what is a core function and just an implication is probably a good percent of our problem in communication in general!
We talk past each other; we don't take the time to ask what someone is—or isn't—implying in a statement. Instead, we interpret it and react. Unfortunately, we are sometimes/often incorrect in our deciphering of what the other person is or isn't really implying...