Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 13 17:57:52 UTC 2011

I'm no expert, but I think this is just another example of the
inadequate vocabulary for time in the English language.

The common words are too imprecise (eg, 'Now' can mean this second,
within the hour, or in the current zeitgeist), and precise language is
disliked stylistically and, as in the current case, not understood by
intelligent readers.

To me, 'temporal' is a fine word, but only because I understand it,
and I appreciate it is so uncommon that comprehension cannot be


On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 12:55 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      "temporal"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Alessandra Stanley on the tv series "Entourage", in the Arts section of the NYT on September 12:
>  Some fans complained that "Entourage" grew stale, but actually it's remarkable how fresh the series managed to stay given how temporal its setting.
> (this is from the hard copy; it's the same on-line, i now see.)
> is this a malaprop (of some kind) for "contemporary"?  or is there a current sense of "temporal" here i'm not aware of?
> OED2 has
>  6. In general sense: Of, pertaining, or relating to time, the present time, or a particular time. [with the most recent cite in 1906]
> which would embrace (under "the present time") Stanley's use, but it still seems odd to me.
> arnold
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