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By Garrell S. Utter, N.P.

PERIOD OF TIME: At the Institute for the Linguistically Impaired, we consider using period of time or time period an early symptom of the dreaded William F. Buckley Syndrome. The patient’s speech is not just redundant, it’s just too wordy, as if the patient must have just one more second of your attention, so you can admire his or her vocabulary.

Early in the last century, the great W.C. Fields pioneered the syndrome for comic effect, saying, for instance altercation in the thoroughfare instead of street fight.

If we catch Buckley Syndrome in this early stage, however, we can cure it with intensive therapy. The patient can learn to say time or period. They can also learn to say in two weeks. In two weeks’ time isn’t only redundant (and fatuous), it’s also as pretentious as I feel badly.

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