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Moment to moment - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Moment to moment
"Your password reset request has been mailed. It should arrive in your mailbox momentarily."
Er, well, I hope it stays there for long enough that I can read it, at any rate...


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gerald_duck From: gerald_duck Date: July 1st, 2008 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a standard discrepancy between British and American English: in the USA, "momentarily" means "in a moment" rather than "for a moment".
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: July 1st, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, really? Are there differences between UK and US English, then? Please do explain them all to me, I'm still a bit new to this "language" thing.
truecatachresis From: truecatachresis Date: July 1st, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, there are a fair number of differences. For instance, did you know that in the US, sarcasm means the exact opposite of what it does in the UK?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 2nd, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
truecatachresis From: truecatachresis Date: July 1st, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Surely, "arrive momentarily" can ONLY mean "in a moment", as an arrival has no duration; it doesn't matter how long something may remain, it will still have arrived at a precise point in time, and after that point regardless of departure, it will still have arrived.

Of course, in another way of looking at it, arrival is ALWAYS for a moment, precisely because of my previous argument. In which case, using "momentarily" for that purpose would be tautologous, and therefore the other reading must be assumed.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 1st, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think what you're trying to say is:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Or vice versa.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: July 1st, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Supposedly the word has been used this way since the 1920s. Sometimes I feel that the difference between accepted and deprecated useage usage is simply a matter of time, in which case this use of "momentarily" has got more history on its side than I would have expected. While I'm not sure if there is such a thing as absolute correctness in grammar, I would tend to agree with what I perceive to be your point that use of the word "momentarily" in this way, when the word "imminently" would work perfectly well, is - at best - exceedingly, irritatingly ugly.

i_ludicrous From: i_ludicrous Date: July 1st, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes I feel that the difference between accepted and deprecated usage is simply a matter of time

Certainly in this case.
From: kaet Date: July 2nd, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
But surely most arrivals are momentary?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 2nd, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, momentary lapses of absence; mere gasps of light in the gathering dark, a sparrow flying through the brightly-lit hall, fleeting feathers. Yes. Hwær cwom hand on hearpestrenge? Hwær cwom hrædærendgewrit?

Þæs ofereode,
þisses swa mæg
From: kaet Date: July 2nd, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
A much more profound point than the one I was making, ;), about the instantaneous nature of arrival, even for those who stay for some time.

There was a moth in the bathroom yesterday, quite a big pretty one. I drained the bath and it avoided jumping in, but when it was empty it somehow contrived to land upside down in the thin layer of water (dampness) left in the bath. There was a kind of dusty stuff coming off of it, which turned out to be the wing surface. I tried to rescue it with a tissue, but it contrived to be flustered and make things worse for itself. In the end I threw it in the bin, apparently dead. But it scrambled to the top, and didn't appear to have any wings left. But it managed to fly across the bin now with almost completely translucent wings. This morning it was gone.
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