A Long Time Going


New Member
Recently, I read an article titled "A Long Time Going" by Peter Bergen about the death of Bin Laden.

I am sorry that I do not have the right to insert a link, but you can easily find it by googling the first two sentences from the article "Osama bin Laden long fancied himself something of a poet. His compositions tended to the morbid, and a poem written two years after 9/11 in which he contemplated the circumstances of his death was no exception."

I am confused by the title and I do not undertand what it means. Can anyone be kind and patient enough to read the article and explain to me the meaning of the title?

Millions of thanks!
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Here's the article from Time magazine.

    My first impression is that it's a reversal of the usual "a long time coming" in reference to an event that has taken a long time to arrive. In bin Laden's case, he has been a long time going, e.g. exiting the world stage.
    Last edited:


    New Member
    So does the title mean that the world has been expecting the end of Bin Laden and his ideology, and people have seen the hope after Bin Laden's death?


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    No, it's as Copyright said: The title is a "twist" on the expression "a long time coming"; the latter is a common phrase that any American reader would recognize. To say something has been "a long time coming" is to say that it is overdue, that it should have happened earlier. "A long time going" plays on this, because Bin Laden's death was long awaited, and he is now gone.
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