sometime (1). Today: And "some time." "Sometime" = at an indefinite or unspecified time; esp., at a time in the future {we'll see each other sometime}. "Some time" = quite a while {they spent some time together}. The difference may be illustrated by contrasting the senses of these two sentences: (1) "It was not until sometime later that George quit." (The precise time is unknown to the writer.) (2) "It was not until some time later that George quit." (George waited quite a while before quitting.) Each is sometimes misused for the other, and has been for quite some time — e.g.: o "Fusaro spent sometime [read 'some time'] with Tracy Lorello, the salon's makeup artist." Kathleen Yanity, "Dressed for Success," Providence J.-Bull., 10 Mar. 1996, at I1. o "They heard about a plan to have the district's gifted program studied and evaluated by a nationally recognized educator some time [read 'sometime'] this school year." Susan Snyder, "ASD Schools to Try Out Uniforms," Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), 4 Oct. 1996, at A1. Language-Change Index — (1) "sometime" misused for "some time" (= quite a while): Stage 1; (2) "some time" misused for "sometime" (= at an indefinite future time): Stage 1. Next: Two More Uses. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "The best way to explain things clearly is to take your time. Don't feel you have to explain every technical concept or term in the sentence in which it is first used. Instead, use a new sentence or paragraph to explain the new idea carefully and thoroughly in plain, simple, nontechnical English." Gary Blake & Robert W. Bly, The Elements of Technical Writing 15 (Natalie Chapman ed., 1993).
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