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Since always

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Suilan, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Suilan

    Suilan Senior Member

    Down South (BW)
    Germany (NRW)
    We just had a "since forever" thread (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=585505), where native speakers more or less agreed that the expression sounds child-like

    So from this it would follow that "since always" would sound child-like too, right? But I have the following dialogue:

    Laura: "On whose orders (did you follow me)? Who is your master?"

    "Your orders," Tomas said. "You are."

    "Me?" Laura gave a nervous laugh. "Since when?"

    "Since always," Tomas replied.

    (Obviously, Laura doesn't remember that time when she gave the order. It's very long ago.)

    That doesn't sound child-like, does it?
     
  2. Black Opal

    Black Opal Senior Member

    Italy
    United Kingdom, English/Italian Speaker
    It's probably an answer I'd give, echoing the question:

    "Since when?"
    "Since always!"
     
  3. Suilan

    Suilan Senior Member

    Down South (BW)
    Germany (NRW)
    Thanks for your quick reply, Black Opal!
     
  4. Suehil

    Suehil Medemod

    Tillou, France
    British English
    But to my ears it still sounds like childish language.
     
  5. Black Opal

    Black Opal Senior Member

    Italy
    United Kingdom, English/Italian Speaker
    It's said in fun.
     
  6. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    I don't care what others said, I like "since forever" and "since always", they don't sound childish to me! :cool: :D

    Seriously, I think the tone can make a huge difference, and the context...(but there's no surprise there)

    In your context, I think it sounds rather ironical, not childish.
     
  7. Suilan

    Suilan Senior Member

    Down South (BW)
    Germany (NRW)
    Thanks for your replies, Suehil, Black Opal, and nichec!

    Unfortunately not. Laura fears Tomas has been sent to kill her, but Tomas is also afraid of her, because on their last encounter (which she doesn't remember) she didn't believe him and cast a nasty spell on him.

    It does? I can live with that! Tomas certainly has an ironic streak to him, even if in this situation he wouldn't dare show it all that openly.

    He also has a tendency to answer questions very literally. He says "your orders; you are" in the second line when one of those would have sufficed, but since he's been asked two questions, he gives two answers. So Opal's first reply "echoing the question" seems a good explanation too.
     
  8. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    I don't agree at all. :)

    I would say that both "since always" and "since forever" are extremely informal in AE, used ironically or humorously.

    They may not be used in BE.

    Gaer
     
  9. Black Opal

    Black Opal Senior Member

    Italy
    United Kingdom, English/Italian Speaker
    Yes, I'd use it in an informal context, probably not in a job interview or anything like that.

    It depends also on who is doing the talking doesn't it?
    My mother or father certainly wouldn't have used it (different generation), but I might and my son (17) might.
     
  10. Suilan

    Suilan Senior Member

    Down South (BW)
    Germany (NRW)
    Tomas is 4000 years old. ;)
     

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