"Until living memory"

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percivalpc

Senior Member
What exactly does the expression "until living memory" mean in this description of a scene in the Edwardian era? "The behatted guests are standing on the college barge, the floating boat-house which all the college rowing clubs maintained until living memory." Thanks.
 
  • George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Do you have some context for your text? And the author, the book article that you have extracted your a text from..

    GF..
     

    percivalpc

    Senior Member
    It's extracted from Richard Dawkins' An Appetite for Wonder. The following sentence is "Today, alas, they [those barges] have been replaced by serviceable brick boathouses on the shore", so I'm guessing "until living memory" meant "until recently".
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's extracted from Richard Dawkins' An Appetite for Wonder. The following sentence is "Today, alas, they [those barges] have been replaced by serviceable brick boathouses on the shore", so I'm guessing "until living memory" meant "until recently".
    Yes, I think so. Given that few people live beyond 100, we could say that it means approximately within the last hundred years.

    I suspect that Dawkins means that he remembers it but was too lazy to find the exact date.
     
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