Time--2017 A to Z Theme
My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Time". The posts will be more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical than instructional. No time management tips planned, but you never know with A to Z.
Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Idioms of Time (#AtoZChallenge)
If we removed all references to time from our language, we'd have a lot less to say. Books would certainly be shorter--and I probably couldn't use a term like "shorter" when referring to books.
Idioms of Time
Till the cows come home, in a coon's age, or as old as the hills are idioms that are as old as Methuselah (oh, that's another one). Humans have used colorful expressions to express long periods of time probably since the earliest development of language--probably before any precise measurements of time were developed. We can say "just a sec" or more descriptively use idioms such as blink of an eye or quick as a wink.
Time idioms were particularly put in the spotlight of my thoughts recently when Fox news commentary host Bill O'Reilly lamented Sean Spicer's frequent use of the idiom "at the end of the day" in his White House press briefings. I usually don't pay much attention to such details, but by golly, the next day I watched the briefing and he said it, not once, but a couple of times. Now my radar was on. Since the mention by O'Reilly I can't count the times I've heard Spicer and so many others using "at the end of the day" to lead into a point they were making.
Another such phrase is "Kick the can down the road." This was pointed out to me when I heard a couple of guys jokingly using the term in regard to something they were discussing. This was an idiom that I'd never noticed before until that overheard conversation, but ever since hearing those guys use the phrase, I've heard this said often in the media.
What these and so many other idioms have in common is that they refer to time in one way or another. If you're like me you likely just overlook the fact that these idioms are used because they are such an integral part of language. Add to that the words relating to time such as adverbs: Words like often, suddenly, quickly, slowly, or interminably. Like them or not, adverbs quite often relate to time.
Our world of speech, written word, and thought so often reflects some aspect of time whether in its passing, its having passed, or what is yet to come. The terminology of technology and the physical world is measured with respect to time. When we talk about motion, we consider speed in relation to what? To time--miles per hour, feet per second, or light years.
Even our current Blogging from A to Z April Challenge evokes concepts of time. An event in the month of April that consists of 26 days of blogging as well as hours put into the planning and composing of our own posts and the reading of innumerable other posts by other bloggers. Time consumed, time spent. Time passes and we find ways to talk about it.
When you think about how much of what we say, hear, and read has to do with time in one way or another, it can become somewhat overwhelming. If you think about it too long--like all day and all night long or even twenty four seven it can be mind boggling. Focusing on such things can become an obsession that you begin to notice forever and a day or until the end of time. Or at least until the cows come home.
Have you ever become fixated on certain language idiosyncrasies? What time idioms do you feel are grossly overused? Do you have a favorite idiom of time?