A Short Week?

Just for the fun of picking something to pieces, let us examine a phrase common enough in writing, “a few short weeks,” which I saw in a book by one of my favorite authors.

Whoever heard of a “short week” (except perhaps those six-day-week fanatics who thought seven-day-weeks were too Christian)?  A week is always seven days of 24 hours each.  No more, no less, never varying to either shorten or lengthen.

To human brains, which are not, I think, fundamentally mathematical, some weeks may seem longer or shorter.  This is only the faulty perception of the brain, which has way too much information to process to leave time for ticking off minutes.  And it is the spirit of the passing time that leads someone to describe a week as long or short.

Perhaps, though, there is a phrase to satisfy both technical and emotional requirements.  I present for consideration “a short few weeks.”  This refers to the few weeks as a period of time.  And for most situations, a few weeks is relatively short.  We might also say, “only a few weeks,” once again emphasizing the perceived shortness of the time span, but not insulting the individual weeks by implying that they shorten or lengthen according to our mood.  Accuracy and emotion hand in hand.

Of course, this is really insignificant in the scheme of things.  I just love to play with words.

-Miss Darcy

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