Time lag vs lag time

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ash.ash10

Member
ِArabic - Saudi
I have heard the phrase "lag time" used by a native speaker but when I researched it, all dictionaries list the phrase "time lag". Is there a difference between these two phrases and if there is, what does each mean and when is each used?

Thanks!!
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    To me, "time lag" refers to a time delay of some kind, from a latency in processing signals (such as remote satellite feeds) to the amount of time between a stroke of lightning and the clap of thunder. It's usually a fairly brief period.

    "Lag time" is much like "lead time" to me. It is a predictable amount of time between one event and another. For example, the lag time in fashion between the Paris runway and the department stores might be eight months. Another example would be the lag time between applying for a passport and receiving it in the mail could be six weeks.
     

    ash.ash10

    Member
    ِArabic - Saudi
    To me, "time lag" refers to a time delay of some kind, from a latency in processing signals (such as remote satellite feeds) to the amount of time between a stroke of lightning and the clap of thunder. It's usually a fairly brief period.

    "Lag time" is much like "lead time" to me. It is a predictable amount of time between one event and another. For example, the lag time in fashion between the Paris runway and the department stores might be eight months. Another example would be the lag time between applying for a passport and receiving it in the mail could be six weeks.
    Thank you very much for the explanation .. Is it possible to give an example of how "lag time" would be used in an everyday context.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    James's explanation makes sense to me. I'd just add that "time lag" and "lag time" might be used in the same context, the former to refer to the phenomenon, the latter to refer to the amount of time. You might say that there's a time lag between transmission and reception of a signal, and that the lag time is 1.3 seconds.

    Also, the single word "lag" may be used for both (since a lag is essentially an amount of time): you can say that there's a problem of signal lag, or that there's a signal lag of 1.3 seconds.

    Ws
     

    ash.ash10

    Member
    ِArabic - Saudi
    James's explanation makes sense to me. I'd just add that "time lag" and "lag time" might be used in the same context, the former to refer to the phenomenon, the latter to refer to the amount of time. You might say that there's a time lag between transmission and reception of a signal, and that the lag time is 1.3 seconds.

    Also, the single word "lag" may be used for both (since a lag is essentially an amount of time): you can say that there's a problem of signal lag, or that there's a signal lag of 1.3 seconds.

    Ws
    Now I see the difference!! Thank you so much!!
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Do you mean they are interchangeable?
    Both James and Wordsmyth have provided excellent explanations. To answer your question, I do think people use them interchangeably in everyday speech.

    Both "time lag" and "lag time" mean "time delay" for me.
     
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