What’s the length of a “Moment” you might ask. That word appears frequently in writing, particularly when describing a period of time.
“Wait up a moment,” you might shout out to a friend. You read it often in romance novels. To me a romance writer just cannot say “he looked into her tangerine eyes for six and a half seconds before deciding to kiss her.” No, I feel positive the writer then would substitute “a moment” instead of being so exacting. For some it may mean “a minute.” To others longer. When you spend an hour pulled out of a day spent with someone special, a moment may represent a block of time.
The word “moment” is an old word that has regained much usage in recent months. It heralds from the Fourteenth Century but according to the Oxford dictionary can mean present time, a particular moment or a period of time.
For example, Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger has used it often when describing his emergency landing on Hudson River. He had a moment to decide what to do—he can’t remember or will even calculate how many seconds it took. On Sept. 30 Senator Cory Booker said “this is a dangerous moment in time,” meaning a period of days.
This week (Oct 1 to 5, 2020) I began to hear it used more frequently as President Trump went to the hospital and news people recounted certain time periods.
October 2, 1 p.m. Chuck Todd “a moment like this” referring to a 14-day quarantine period. Usage continued, many adding an adjective. Bazaar moment. Not a fake moment. A get real moment. A sober moment. A snapshot moment. We take from this moment. And, on and on.
“Is this a moment we didn’t think would come?” October 2 at 4:30 p.m. Nicole Wallace asked. Thus, I cannot but conclude that it all means the “moment” is now.