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  1. #1
    optimistic pessimist is offline Member
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    what is "a human generation"?

    Hi teachers!

    Currently I'm reading a difficult essay and this is a sentence from it.

    "It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century or even once in a human generation, this little headland would be thronged with spectators."

    I understand "a generation" is about 30 years. However, in this context, "a human generaiton" has to be longer than a centurey.

    Does "a human generation" just mean " a generation", or a period that is much longer than that ?

    Thank you

    OP
    Last edited by optimistic pessimist; 12-Apr-2009 at 10:17.

  2. #2
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    Re: what is "a human generation"?

    The author seems to be saying that people take the beauty of the headland for granted, and so don't seem to bother to come to view it. But if viewing this 'sight' was very rarely possible - say, once every hundred years...no, it doesn't even have to be that rare an opportunity ...say, they could only view it every thirty years...then...THEN "this little headland would be thronged with spectators" desperate for so rare a chance to see the view (or whatever the 'sight' is).

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: what is "a human generation"?

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    ...

    I understand "a generation" is about 30 years. However, in this context, "a human generaiton" has to be longer than a centurey.

    Does "a human generation" just mean " a generation", or a period that is much longer than that ?

    Thank you

    OP
    why the anthropocentrism boss - a dog generation is less than 10 yrs, a fruit-fly generation is tiny - why do generations have to be measured in terms of humans

    archy

  4. #4
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    Re: what is "a human generation"?

    If it's humans viewing the headland - or not - then as one of the humans being asked to take stock of my behaviour, I can more readily grasp the temporal reference as a 'human generation' than that of a fruit-fly.

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