#1
Old 09-06-2008, 12:25 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 881
what does "a little while" mean to you?

i was on the phone with someone who said "i'll call you back in a little while." how long until a little while is no longer little?
#2
Old 09-06-2008, 12:30 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Posts: 28,043
Er, a little while? I suppose you need to go on a case-by-case basis. Callbacks take hours. Researching means days. Researching hot potatoes nobody wants to touch means never.

I've been hitting some of the latter lately.
#3
Old 09-06-2008, 12:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Greenville SC
Posts: 1,588
I don't say "a little while" if I think it's going to take more than 15-20 minutes. Otherwise, I say "a couple of hours."
#4
Old 09-06-2008, 12:51 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,838
"A little while" = "never" to my then-teenaged son who agreed to _______(insert chore of choice here) in a little while.
#5
Old 09-06-2008, 01:02 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 9,119
I'd say you should expect a call back in 3-4 hours, depending on the time of day.
#6
Old 09-06-2008, 01:19 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: San Diego, CA (UCSD)
Posts: 10,038
4 hours at the most.
#7
Old 09-06-2008, 01:59 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,528
I don't expect anything. "A little while" means "if I feel like it."
#8
Old 09-06-2008, 02:18 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 11,386
If the return call is to give some basic information (e.g. someone's phone number), then I'd expect it within half an hour.

If there is no specific purpose for the return call, then I'd expect it any time within the next few days.
#9
Old 09-06-2008, 03:26 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: W. WA
Posts: 19
It would depend on the context. Calling back just to chat would be sometime in the next day or two.
#10
Old 09-06-2008, 07:12 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Je suis Ikea.
Posts: 25,224
it usually means about 15 minutes longer to me than it does to Mrs Piper, particularly when she has asked me to do something.

much unhappiness has resulted over the years from this slight mismatch in chronological perspective
#11
Old 09-06-2008, 07:16 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 542
A little while generally means never to me. Its a way for parents to put off doing something for their children that they really don't want to do.
#12
Old 09-06-2008, 07:33 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Commerce, Ga
Posts: 37
A little while has always been up to a few hours for me. Never seen it used to mean in a day or two.
#13
Old 09-06-2008, 10:49 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17
Anywhere from 15 minutes to never, I'd say.
#14
Old 09-06-2008, 12:00 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: 40:28:39N 74:37:38W
Posts: 919
I always thought it was anywhere from about 10 minutes to maybe an hour. Anything after that is "an hour or so", "a couple of hours", "later today", or my favorite, "as soon as I can" (which could mean never ;x).

In related news, when I say I'll think about it, it means we both know I'm not going to do it, so you can stop asking now.
#15
Old 09-06-2008, 12:32 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,204
When referencing a future point in time, I'd expect it to be something around a few hours, and would tolerate a day or two (i.e. I won't be mad if a call supposed to come in 'a little while' comes tomorrow, but I won't be happy either).
But when applied to the past, 'a little while ago' is somewhere between a minute ago and the dawn of time itself, mostly because I'm always having trouble putting my memories into their proper chronological context, so I'll tell stories starting with 'A little while ago, while I was in the US', and only notice afterwards that it's been ten years since then.
#16
Old 09-06-2008, 12:38 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Ainran
Posts: 11,449
Anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours.
#17
Old 09-06-2008, 05:01 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,006
I'd expect a few hours.

On a slightly related topic, here in Amish Country, there's a Pennsylvania Dutch-originated usage of the phrase "a while" that STILL, after 5 years, brings me up short.

supervenusfreak and members of his family (and just...people...) will use "a while" to mean "right now". To me, "a while" is a nonspecific measure of time, not a specific moment IN time. "Why don't you feed the cats a while?" does not mean "Why don't you spend some time feeding the cats?", it means "Why don't you feed the cats right now?"

Those were some really confusing arguments the first few months...

Last edited by jayjay; 09-06-2008 at 05:01 PM.
#18
Old 09-06-2008, 05:09 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
To me it means, "I have no fucking idea when, and maybe never".
#19
Old 09-07-2008, 02:52 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,667
Sooner than "in the fullness of time" or "in the sweet bye and bye."
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:10 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: kroger flavored water dairy farts drawstring bed sheets palabra jot villainous monologues 100 commission undraped massage envy slept 14 hours mineral enhanced water match.com last online uncut geode sucker vs lollipop removing stucco ceilings grown ass estranged father dying quiznos commercial 2003 postum coffee koi whiskers temazepam and alcohol airtight caskets affectionate kitten sally ann 80s porn music eardrum moving vodka molecule is suffocation painful limburger cheese sandwich coffee fiber pixie pit scrabble ridex for septic honey smacks bear beechnut tobacco ceramic straight razor male ankle bracelets cats leather furniture fag british sun bleach cashing a personal check with insufficient funds mr mom movie quotes tk 421 why aren't you at your post vpike com street view great vengeance and furious anger how to get a splinter out of your nail another name for brisket can you call the police to check on someone cotton hill no shins does mayonnaise need to be refrigerated supernanny brittany and moriah why do gymnasts retire so early day old bread store little debbie vs hostess how to keep raccoons from coming in cat door how long does oil based paint take to dry where did rx come from television without pity forum archives what does root beer taste like how much does urine weigh cat food to help cat gain weight shawshank redemption obtuse gif furnace starting and stopping costco return policy wireless router how to pronounce won thumb your nose at meaning phone block punch down tool can guys take pamprin what is japanese movement watches what does mamacita mean congestive heart failure dogs when to put down scooter for big guys were all living in amerika rammstein newspapers com free trial