in the course of a day vs in a day

LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
In a recent study led by Dr. Cohen, for example, people in southern Louisiana typically exceeded guidelines for eating salty and sugary foods by 120 percent in the course of a day while falling short of vegetable and fruit consumption by 20 percent. ---taken from the NYT

Dear all,

I was wondering why in the course of a day, not in a day? Isn't in the course of a day wordy? Is there any difference between them? If yes, could you please explain it to me? Thanks.



LQZ
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, LQZ :) I agree that "in the course of a day" is a little wordy here. Perhaps the writer meant to emphasize the length of the day.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The intention could be to write "over a 24-hour period". The simplest thing would be to say "daily guidelines" or "daily recommendations" and forget about day.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    What you eat in a day is, or could be, a total; what you eat in the course of a day is breakfast, then a snack, then this or that at various times. 'Course' draws attention to a variety of events at different times.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I was wondering why in the course of a day, not in a day?
    With one exception, I don't think in the course of a day is an appropriate expression in this context; instead, I'd second e2efour's suggestion of using daily guidelines, as in:
    ... typically exceeded daily guidelines for eating salty and sugary food by 120 percent while falling short of vegetable and fruit consumption... The exception would be if the time span of the study was specifically one day per respondent. Which, indeed, turns out to be the case:

    "We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 228 urban census tracts in Los Angeles County (LAC) and Southern Louisiana (SL) and estimated calories in the past 24 hours from fruit, vegetables, cookies, candy, salty snacks, sweetened soda, and alcohol among 2,767 participants." (Ref: Link provided in OP).
     

    eclectic

    Member
    WU-CHINESE
    In consequence of an agreement between the sisters, Elizabeth wrote the next morning to their mother, to beg that the carriage might be sent for them in the course of the day.
    --------Chapter 12,Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

    What does the "in the course of the day" mean?

     

    eclectic

    Member
    WU-CHINESE
    Guys, I have collected more sentences with "in the course of a XXX" in Pride and Prejudice, just post them here to make the expression to be much clearer:

    1. In consequence of an agreement between the sisters, Elizabeth wrote the next morning to their mother, to beg that the carriage might be sent for them in the course of the day.

    2."May I hope, madam, for your interest with your fair daughter Elizabeth, when I solicit for the honour of a private audience with her in the course of this morning?"

    3.“Is your master much at Pemberley in the course of the year?”

    Seems the expression was very popular in Jane Austen's time, anybody can show us more evidences of its meaning?

     
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