Since + [time period]

Tom Kysilko pds at VISI.COM
Sun Apr 16 15:48:37 UTC 2000

On an NPR news program last week, regarding some new initiate Tony Blair
may be taking to try to restart the peace process in Northern Ireland, I
thought I heard a BBC correspondent say something like, "The two
governments have been working on a joint proposal since three weeks."

Am I right in thinking that one would rarely, if ever, hear this from an
American?  My sense is that the object of prepositional "since" is a more
or less specific date, time, or event; not a time period, especially not an
enumerated time period.

since this morning
since Easter
since he was elected
since three weeks after he was elected
since three weeks ago  (?)

Indeed, is this locution even common in contemporary British English?  [It
makes me think of those Jane Austen emulators, who lard their prose with
"these three weeks".  Yes, they occur in the Austen corpus, but not very

  Tom Kysilko        Practical Data Services
  pds at       Saint Paul MN USA

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