Tag Archives: momentarily

The new ‘shortly’

Greetings from the other side of Hurricane Irene.

I won’t judge whether the exclamation points and all-cap warnings The Weather Channel threw around last weekend were warranted, because Irene certainly punctuated her path across Caribbean and American territory. Those who remain without electrical power have every right to use every symbol on the keyboard to express themselves.

At our house, we just disposed of the 40 pounds of ice we socked away for the occasion, and are all too grateful to not have needed it. In fact, we were gleefully fortunate to not have lost more than a few pesky tree limbs.

Would I seem terribly ungrateful if I griped a wee bit about the 40 hours we had no television or Internet? I thought so.

Then how about if I just shared some innocent observations I made during that 40-hour period?

  1. I am far more addicted to TV and Internet than I ever imagined.
  2. I’m not proud of this.
  3. The word “momentarily” is still widely misused. Hasn’t corporate America gotten it yet that it is not reassuring to hear that service will be restored momentarily? (I’d prefer it stay on a while.)
  4. The word “shortly” is subjective, but by no stretch does it mean 40 hours.
  5. Comcast customer service representatives are unprepared to answer the question, “How much longer will you use ‘shortly’?” Based on the awkward silence following my question, I kept my mouth shut about “momentarily.”
  6. When you call Comcast and press 2 to report an Internet outage, the recording suggests, if you do not care to continue to hold during this period of heavy call volume, that “you may also visit us on the Web at www.comcast.net for assistance.” Now why didn’t I think of that?
  7. When, following your call to the help desk, Comcast calls you back with an automated customer service survey, and you press 4 to indicate your call pertained to a disruption of service, you are told that they do not recognize this response and the survey ends there.
  8. My days as a loyal Comcast customer are over. Unless I find a friendly and reliable competitor, I’ll hold my nose and go with that other big company.
  9. The new Comcast—XFINITY—needs a new jingle. It’s not fun for me. Come on everyone, let’s dump XFINITY.
  10. It’s time to get back to work; I’m backed up by about 40 hours.

How many Moments are in 40 hours?

Momentarily? I hope not.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Rants and Raves, Technology and Social Media

Let’s talk for a moment about “momentarily”

If the pilot announces, “we will be in the air momentarily,” it means you’re going to crash.

If the waiter assures you, “your food will be here momentarily,” it means you’d better eat fast.

If you are told “a customer service representative will be with you momentarily,” it means she won’t have much time to assist you.

If the theater manager says “doors will open momentarily,” you’d better hope you’re at the front of the line.

“Momentarily” means “for a moment” or “briefly,” not “in a moment” or “soon.”  You may disagree, lots of people do—usually the ones who use it incorrectly or who quote a source that has just plain given up and added the erroneous definition.

I won’t be surprised by comments that cite sources accepting “in a moment” as an acceptable definition.  It happens all the time.  I once lost a bet with someone when I claimed “irregardless” wasn’t a word and that it couldn’t be found in the dictionary.  I placed my bet, looked it up and there it was:  “irregardless:  an incorrect use of regardless.”  As with “sherbert,” some sources have just shrugged their shoulders and looked the other way.

But I am fair and have an open mind.  If you do disagree with me, feel free to state your case.  I will listen to you momentarily.


Filed under All Things Wordish