space, n.; happen v.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 2 14:03:18 UTC 2012

OED calls this "rare" or "archaic" in the sense of "opportunity" (which,
interestingly enough, is the earliest sense attested).

Probably since the early '80s (I'm guessing), it can mean specifically an
"opportunity for usu. social or intellectual progress":

2007 Helen Morales _Classical Mythology_ (N.Y.: Sterling, 2010) 142: Myth
may affirm oppressive ideologies, but it also has the capacity to provide
spaces beyond them.

And the popular "happen" (not in OED) in the hip intelligentsioid sense of
 "to become active or significant":

Ibid. 141: "Classical mythology happens only when the stories become active
agents: when people use them."

(In speech, I'd expect _happens_ to be stressed in this case.)

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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