In the name of the Merciful Allah,
Hi, read this " Once the province of psychoanalysts, prophets, poets, painters, and psychics, the world of sleep has now become a vibrant field of study for scientific researchers......". Could you please give me a synonym of " once " according to the text?
"Once" here is used to mean "in the past." The sentence means that in the past the "world" of sleep was only studied by prophets, poets, etc (nice use of alliteration there!) but now scientists are beginning to do serious research on sleep.
Thanks a lot, I had no idea about this " Alliteration " before you mentioned it. I didn't even noticed it in my quotation. If you don't mind, I have another question on the phrase that begins with "once", don't you think that the phrase sill has something missing? I say so because poets, painters, and psychics still use this matter ( sleep) in their art or work so far. So, I think the phrase would be better, if it had a word like " only"or "just" to refer that this domain was limited to those people in the past, unlike today. Am I right?
I agree with Anglika that the sentence doesn't imply that poets etc are no longer studying sleep; but certainly beginning the sentence "Once only the province of..." would make the meaning even clearer.
"Once the province" has an attractive rhythm to it that "Once only the province" lacks. Perhaps, as with the alliteration, this author is choosing words for their beauty as well as meaning. :)
I was really only kidding about the attractive rhythm! :)
"Only" would be awkward at the end of that phrase, particularly after such a very long list of nouns. You could get away with it in a poem ("Once upon a midnight dreary/ As I pondered, weak and weary...") but not in what appears to be journalism.