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Time, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: Space-Time Continuum, Shrinks with Increasing Velocity, Expressions

Previous posts have spent time on four works of art that suggests characteristics of time: a poem of concern about wasting time on wooing, a painting of a family with a prominent, symbolic clock, a ‘60’s song about choices of moments and milestones, and a movie based on variations from the same starting point. Each post draws out subthemes of time, but a few subthemes pertain to more than one piece of art or none of them.

Space-Time Continuum: Physicists have studied time for, well, a long time. Ever since the breakthroughs of Albert Einstein, we understand the melding of space and time, as physical constructs, into a mathematical/physical entity called ‘space-time’. Because space consists of three dimensions, and time is one-dimensional, space-time must, therefore, have four dimensions. It is deemed a ‘continuum’ because as far as we know, there are no missing points in space or instants in time, and both can be subdivided without any apparent limit in size or duration.Here is the Stanford University explanation the preceding was drawn from.

Shrinks with Increasing Velocity: Einstein’s theory of special relativity says that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you move relative to something else. Approaching the speed of light, a person inside a spaceship would age much slower than her twin at home. The passage of time for a speedy traveler will slow down relative to the elapsed time on Earth. Even astronauts who orbit the earth at speeds a tiny fraction of the 670 million miles per hour light zips along return to earth fractions of a second younger than the mission controllers in Houston.

Expressions: The 62 idiomatic sayings presented alphabetically below refer to time in a figurative sense. I exclude direct uses of the theme word and proverbs. The idiomatic expressions come from my own knowledge of English and various online sources:

7esl, ABCEnglish, Basic English Speaking, befluentnyc, Cambridge, Career Ride, English Eagtutor, English with a Twist, EngVid, ESLexpat, Free Dictionary, Ginseng English, GoEnglish, Grammar, High Level Listening, Idioms Online, Idioms4U, Know Your Phrase, Learn English Today, Lemon Grad, Literacy at Work, MacMillan Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, MMMEnglish, My English Pages, Online Teachers, Owlcation, PerformDigi, Phrases, Phrase-Thesaurus, PowerThesaurus, Reverse Dictionary, Twining English Centres, Using English, and Your Dictionary.

“at the end of the day” (in the final analysis, when all is said and done)
“like sand through an hour glass” (refers to the fast, regular passage of time)
“time flies” (used when it feels like that time is passing extremely quickly)
“see in the cold light of day” (be realistic rather than wishful)
“your days are numbered” (you will die soon)
“a devil of a time” (a difficult or frustrating time)
“a matter/question of time” (something will definitely happen but unsure when)
“a rare old time” (a fine and enjoyable time at a party)
“about time” (Far past the desired time)
“against the clock” (must get something completed in a small amount of time)
“all along” (used when something has been happening for the entire time)
“all in good time” (an expression that encourages patience)
“an hourglass figure” (very shapely feminine form)
“around the clock” (for 24 hours, without stopping)
“at the eleventh hour” (Almost too late or at the last possible moment)
“beat the clock” (Finish something before time is up, before a deadline)
“behind the times” (old-fashioned)
“buy some time” (cause a delay on purpose)
“call it a day” (finish working on something, a day’s work’s been completed)
“call time” (to end something) “call time out” (pause an ongoing activity) “carry the day” (be victorious or successful)
“clock in” (start work)
“coming down the pike” (likely to occur in near future)
“crack of dawn” (early in the morning)
“do time” (serve a prison sentence, i.e., spend time in jail or prison)
“fifteen minutes of fame” (temporary renown)
“for the time being” (at present time or for now)
“good timing” (fortuitous coincidence, let' you capitalize on an opportunity)
“have the time of your life” (have a very fun, exciting or enjoyable time)
“here today, gone tomorrow” (something which is very short lived)
“high time” (right time to do something)
“in a New York minute” (very quickly)
“in one stroke” (Immediately, at the same time)
“in the blink of an eye” (used when something happens too quickly)
“in the interim” (meanwhile, between events)
“in the long run” (over a long period of time)
“in the nick of time” (at the last possible moment, just before it’s too late)
“jump the gun” (start something before the proper time)
“killing time” (unproductive, just waiting and passing time)
“like clockwork” (happens regularly, in predictable intervals or on a schedule)
“living on borrowed time” (living on although threatened by death)
“make up for lost time” (Catch up after a long period of not doing something)
“not ready for prime time” (not professional, perfected, experienced)
“on the dot” (something happening at the very exact time)
“on the spot” (Immediately, with no intervening time)
“on the spur of time” (a spontaneous or sudden undertaking)
“once in a blue moon” (rarely)
“once in a while” (something happening occasionally)
“race against the clock” (attempt to do something before an impending deadline)
“time is ripe” (suitable time to do something)
“save time” (find short cuts to do a task more quickly)
“seize the day” (take an opportunity)
“set a clock to it” (an event happens so punctually you could tell the hour by it)
“six ways to Sunday” (in every possible way)
“take your time” (work at a relaxed pace)
“time after time” (when something takes place repeatedly)
“too much time on one’s hands” (someone has nothing much to do)
“turn back time” (go back to the past and relive what has already occurred)
“twenty-four seven” (all day)
“whale of a time” (a great time, doing something that is really fun)

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