On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM, sven falempin <sven.falem...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 2:53 PM, Alexander Hall <alexan...@beard.se> wrote:
>> On 02/18/13 19:48, Nick Holland wrote:
>>> On 02/17/13 04:54, Jason McIntyre wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 01:29:00PM +0400, Nick Permyakov wrote:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> I might be nitpicking, but the sentence "This will take awhile..." at
>>>>> the bottom of 
>>>>> http://www.openbsd.org/stable.**html<http://www.openbsd.org/stable.html>doesn't
>>>>>  seem very
>>>>> grammatical to me. I'd suggest fixing it to read "...take a while...".
>>>>> Best regards,
>>>>> Nick Permyakov
>>>> i thought it sounded strange too, so i looked it up. from collins
>>>> cobuild:
>>>>         awhile: "Awhile" means for a short time. It is more commonly
>>>>         spelled `a while', which is considered more correct, especially
>>>>         in British English.
>>>> so i don;t think there's anything wrong with it, as such. having said
>>>> that, it's written in the context of a make build. i wonder whether the
>>>> author really wanted to suggest a short time ;)
>>>> jmc
>>> "a while"/"awhile" means a short time? wow.  I've always used it as
>>> meaning "a long time".  'course, I usually say it with a sarcastic tone,
>>> so maybe it's the sarcasm that gets the point across.
>>> I've changed it to "This will take some time. Depending on the speed of
>>> the system, it may take less than an hour to a week or more."
>> Not that I'm a native English speaker, but I've never ever interpreted "a
>> while" as a _short_ time specifically, but mostly as a fair but reasonable
>> amount of time relative to the context.
>> But then again, what's the definition of "short"? I guess that's depending
>> on the context, too.
>> /Alexander
> i asked native english speaker,
> apparently, taking awhile is always 'sarcastic', and never short.

Not according to dictionaries[1][2][4]. I've never thought "awhile" as
a sarcastic usage.

[1] http://thefreedictionary.com/awhile
a·while  (-hwl, -wl)
For a short time.
Usage Note: Awhile, an adverb, is never preceded by a preposition such
as for, but the two-word form a while may be preceded by a
preposition. In writing, each of the following is acceptable: stay
awhile; stay for a while; stay a while (but not stay for awhile).

[2] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/awhile
awhile (not comparable[3])
For some time; for a short time.
Sit with me awhile.

[3] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary#comparable

[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/awhile
Definition of AWHILE

: for a while
 See awhile defined for English-language learners[5]
See awhile defined for kids[6]

[5] http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/awhile
awhile  /əˈwajəl/ adverb
: for a while : for a short time
▪ I'm going to sit and rest awhile. ▪ The rumor had been around awhile.

[6] http://www.wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?book=Student&va=awhile

> It is fun to know that the sarcasm is exactly the same in french.
> <<Cela va prendre un moment>>
> moment is short, but it means a completely undefined time, probably not
> very short.
> so the sentence was correct, the 'manual' was wrong

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