How Long is Forever?

I think that your definition of "forever" depends on how you are feeling at the moment. That makes it a highly unreliable word to use. It doesn’t mean the same to everybody and it doesn’t mean the same to an individual at different times or circumstances.

How many seconds, minutes, or years is forever?

How does forever change from when you are patient or impatient?

How does forever change from when you are sad or happy?

How does forever change from when you are poor or wealthy?

There is no real measure of forever. Yet many people seem to use the term in their everyday conversations.

Here are some examples:

I called and his phone rang forever.

We ordered the pizza and it took forever to arrive.

It took forever to receive payment.

The wait at the doctor’s office took forever.

We’ve known each other forever.

I will be forever grateful.

Friends forever.

I will love you forever.

Each of those statements is a lie.

Those phrases are based on the feelings of the moment. None are accurate or measurable. In fact, I think that the use of the word “forever” is intended to be deceptive.

The word “forever” is an absolute and absolutes at best are based on your feeling at that moment. Is “forever” measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries or millennia?

I suggest that you remove the word “forever” from your vocabulary.

If you do that, you will be a more effective communicator because your words will be more trustworthy.


George Torok

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