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  1. Reemy's Avatar
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    #1

    Time Spans

    Certain expressions are used to describe a short period of time and oppositely other expressions to describe a long period of time, I am going to list what I have in mind for both and it would be great if you could list other entries.


    Long Period of Time

    Eternity
    Epoch
    Life
    Forever
    Long-run

    Short Period of Time

    instant
    second
    moment
    day
    blink of an eye
    soon
    while
    short term
    heartbeat

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Time Spans

    Quote Originally Posted by Reemy View Post
    Certain expressions are used to describe a short period of time and oppositely other expressions to describe a long period of time, I am going to list what I have in mind for both and it would be great if you could list other entries.

    while
    Long Period of Time

    (a)eon
    era
    age
    millennium
    century
    a long while

    Short Period of Time
    tick
    jiffy
    half a mo'
    a short while

    I think "while" is not necessarily short-term. "I haven't seen you in quite a while"; "It's been a while since I saw him"; "I haven't seen him for a while" all mean a medium-term period. It specifically means for longer than a short period of time.
    As a noun "a while" is simply a period of time. If someone says "I'll see you in a while", you'd want to know whether they meant a short while or a long while. So, I'd suggest "a short while" or "a little while".

  3. Reemy's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Time Spans

    Thank you Raymott for your additions and remark. It was in the Sage dictionary, it says that while is a period of indeterminate length ( usually short).

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    #4

    Re: Time Spans

    One not on your list is Quantum. As there is a hot new movie out now with that word, it's back in the vocabulary. It is often used wrongly as "He made quantum strides in ..." whereas it actually means incredibly tiny.

    With most words like this, where their use may mean exactly the opposite in another person's ears, I simply strike them from my vocabulary. I never use "enormity" for the same reason. I also avoid words that, when pronounced properly, cause raised eyebrows by those who think I have made a mistake (flaccid, gynecologist, zoology come to mind).
    Last edited by jlinger; 19-Nov-2008 at 18:21.

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