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Subject: meaning: within the hour rss

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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I'm trying to find a definition (either prescriptive or descriptive) of the phrase "...[something will happen] within the hour...", and I'm not having any luck on the web or in my dictionary, so I thought I'd try here.

There seem to be at least two definitions (with examples, using a statement given at 3:40pm):
A. within 60 minutes of the statement (meaning by 4:40pm)
B. before the top of the hour (meaning by 4:00pm)

Is "within the hour" the same as "in the next hour" or "within an hour"?

What do you think the definition is, and why?

 
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Phil Shepherd
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B.

The explanation for A. would be to define "within an hour."
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Kevin Nieman
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B.

I agree with Phil. The modifiers "an" and "the" provide the qualifying time restraint.

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Welcome Rolling Stones
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Consider extending the time period to 2 hours. This will allow for better results.
 
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Terri K
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I agree with Dante and captkayoss, definitely B
 
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Ed Sherman
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B! It must be B! It is the only true answer! Any rational person can see it is B! AAAARRRGH! zombie

Oh, wait -- I thought this was the Time Well Spent thread. blush

I think it's probably B, then. If that's okay with you.
 
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Matthew M
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Now that we have it settled that B is the correct answer, who won?

-MMM
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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"Won"?

I guess I won because I received so many thoughtful replies. Thank you!

My thought was "B" as well. I brought this up because it seemed like other people I spoke with meant "A". It might be an ESL or dialect issue. (I noticed that all of the replies in this thread are from people living in the U.S., while some of the people I have been speaking with probably don't live here.) I'm going to keep listening for "within the hour" and see if I there's any pattern of "A" meaning as the specified events takes place.
 
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S S
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bwingrave wrote:
I'm going to keep listening for "within the hour" and see if I there's any pattern of "A" meaning as the specified events takes place.


Just watch 24. I think someone says "within the hour" at least once an episode.
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