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A long time coming

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Camlearner, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    It means that it has been a long time before this event happened.

    Just a note: We try to post enough from the source material that members don't have to click a link to answer the question. You can quote up to four sentences. So context might look like this:

    What does A long time coming mean in this article from The Phnom Penh Post?

    The Cambodian government has hailed the release of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi after years of house arrest, describing it as an important step on the road towards democracy for the troubled country.

    A long time coming


    Meanwhile, members of the Myanmar community in Phnom Penh rejoiced at the developments inside their country, amid uncertainty as to the junta’s motivation for releasing Suu Kyi.

    Local resident Soe Thi Ha, 25, said he was “very happy” that she had been set free after spending 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.
     
  3. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    Minneapolis
    USA English
    To give you another example, think of the medical investigations which have resulted in finding cures or relief from diseases steeped in history. One such cure was the result of finding a vaccine for polio. At this time, a cure for diabetes has escaped the investigators but investigators are hoping to find a cure before the lapse of ten years. In both instances the results would be a long time coming.
     
  4. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Thank you Copyright. Next time, I quote better. So it has been a long time before this event happened. What is this event exactly? Is it The Cambodian government has hailed the release of Aung San Suu Kyi ? or is it the members of the Myanmar community in Phnom Penh rejoiced at the developments inside their country ?

    Thank you Harry Batt, let me make sure that the results would be a long time coming , do you mean it will take a long time before finding a cure for diabetes before the lapse of ten years ?

    I seem confused.
     
  5. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    Minneapolis
    USA English
    The medical researchers have already been working on a cure for diabetes for a long time. They have found methods, such as insulin injections, which relieve the symptoms. Recently a pronouncement was made that an all out effort was in the making to find a total cure. The goal was within 10 years. Taking the effort already made together with the new all out effort it will be a long time coming.
     
  6. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    It is the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.
     
  7. JuanEscritor

    JuanEscritor Senior Member

    Minnesota
    English - AE
    To add:

    I would say this phrase is usually only used in situations in which the event has been waited for or worked toward during the 'long time'. Being a long time in general usually doesn't warrant this phrase, in my opinion.

    JE
     
  8. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Hi JuanEscritor, let me confirm that you mean the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest is what we wait long ago by saying A LONG TIME COMING ?
     
  9. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    Minneapolis
    USA English
    I should add that usually one element which warrants A Long Time Coming is that the condition which has been relieved was held in that condition unfairly or unjustly. The interchange for A Long Time Coming is "Well, it's about time." When the Yankees failed to make it to the baseball World Series that's what my son said. A Long Time Coming is a bit dated for him.
     
  10. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Sorry now I'm lost:

    So

    The Cambodian government has hailed the release of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi after years of house arrest, describing it as an important step on the road towards democracy for the troubled country.

    A long time coming =
    A long time before Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was?/is?/ released from house arrest or = finally she is released now... ? ... ? :confused:

    Meanwhile, members of the Myanmar community in Phnom Penh rejoiced at the developments inside their country, amid uncertainty as to the junta’s motivation for releasing Suu Kyi.

    Local resident Soe Thi Ha, 25, said he was “very happy” that she had been set free after spending 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.
     
  11. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    A long time coming means that an event has taken a long time to arrive, to get here, to happen. There is no "ago" element here.
     
  12. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Thank you Copyright.

    So :

    " The Cambodian government has hailed the release of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi after years of house arrest, describing it as an important step on the road towards democracy for the troubled country.

    A long time coming ( or
    Aung San Suu Kyi's release has taken a long time to happen now)

    Meanwhile, members of the Myanmar community in Phnom Penh rejoiced at the developments inside their country, amid uncertainty as to the junta’s motivation for releasing Suu Kyi.

    Local resident Soe Thi Ha, 25, said he was “very happy” that she had been set free after spending 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.
    "
     
  13. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    I guess (although you should drop the "now" at the end). You should also realize that this phrase -- A long time coming -- is simply a fragment that's being used as a subhead in the story. Because it's a well-known phrase, most readers will immediately know what it means.

    You see these brief subheads through newspaper articles -- Too hot to handle. Too young to know better. We thought it was a joke -- just to give readers an idea of the subject or mood of the paragraphs that follow.

    In this case, imagine you're standing on a train platform. You see a train in the distance. It should arrive in five minutes. But it's traveling much slower than normal (which you don't realize since you're looking at it straight ahead, and at a distance). It has mechanical trouble. Finally, after 40 minutes, it arrives. You could say that it was a long time before it arrived (especially since we thought or hoped it would arrive much earlier). To some extent, that's the meaning of a long time coming.
     
  14. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Ok.. thank you Copyright for more detail explaination support. so a long time coming is like a slang idiom expression something... I find such long phrases composed with all each familare simple words (all, long, time, coming...) I know difficult than big law words sometimes. And even more sad, no my bilingual dictionaries help me well with such phrases meaning. Even pure English-English books don't contain it! I only have a long time ago... ex. My dear dog died a long time ago..
     
  15. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Idiom but not slang. And I'm afraid you just have to learn them, but that's true in any language. But sometimes the small words mean just what they say: it is a long time (in) coming (meaning, arriving or happening).
     
  16. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Thank you.. I feel it is a long time (in) coming (meaning, arriving or happening) mean many years finish now or a long time expires now or we have finished the past period... ... ta ra ta ra...
     
  17. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Time is relative. I look at the 16 posts in this thread and it occurs to me that your understanding of a long time coming has been a long time coming. ;)
     
  18. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    Now I stop understand more. You said : my understanding of a long time coming has been a long time coming. What do you mean? You mean I understand that phrase long time a go? If you mean like that, you are wrong. But if you mean it takes a long time before this minute of writing, until 16 posts, for me to finally understand about that confusing phrase, then you are right.
     
  19. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    I believe you're right. It is curious, though, that the only on-line dictionary I'm able to find the phrase in is Urban Dictionary. Here's the entry:

    That's how I would read it. ;)
     
  20. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English

    Let me repeat my post 11:

    A long time coming means that an event has taken a long time to arrive, to get here, to happen. There is no "ago" element here.

    It means it has taken you a long time to arrive at an understanding of this expression.
     
  21. Camlearner Senior Member

    Khmer
    So you are right Copyright! Thank you a lot more.

    Thak you also EStjarn for your link to the Urban dictionary explanation.

    :)
     

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