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    #1

    Over the past…phrase

    'Over the past 50 years paracetamol has become the most widely used analgesic and antipyretic agent.'

    Does that mean at some point during those 50 years paracetamol became the most widely used drug? Or paracetamol continued to be the most widely used drug for 50 years?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenace View Post
    'Over the past 50 years paracetamol has become the most widely used analgesic and antipyretic agent.'

    Does that mean at some point during those 50 years paracetamol became the most widely used drug? Or paracetamol continued to be the most widely used drug for 50 years?
    It means the first. Paracetamol (acetaminophen in the US) became available in the 1950's but it did not overtake aspirin in sales until the 1980s.

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    #3

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    You cannot assume from the statement, goldenace, that paracetamol became the most widely used drug — just the most widely used analgesic and antipyretic agent.

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    #4

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    Yes, you're right. My apologies.

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    #5

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    It means the first. Paracetamol (acetaminophen in the US) became available in the 1950's but it did not overtake aspirin in sales until the 1980s.
    We cannot tell that from the original sentence. All we can say from that, assuming the article was written this year, is that paracetamol became the most widely used analgesic and antipyretic agent at some time beween 1963 and 2013.

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    #6

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    So on its own "over the past" does not have a distinct definition in this context?
    Last edited by goldenace; 26-Nov-2013 at 23:48. Reason: "in this context"

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    #7

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenace View Post
    So we really don't know anything using the information I provided? Well apart from paracetamol being used as an analgesic and an antipyretic.
    We know what 5jj wrote in post #5.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    Well, we know that paracetamol became, and still is, the most widely used analgesic and antipyretic agent. We just don't know exactly when it overtook its leading rival.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 26-Nov-2013 at 23:52. Reason: typo

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    #9

    Re: Over the past…phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    We cannot tell that from the original sentence. All we can say from that, assuming the article was written this year, is that paracetamol became the most widely used analgesic and antipyretic agent at some time beween 1963 and 2013.
    That is why I chose the first meaning. The rest was just supplemental information.

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