Cliche of the week 127 – Only time will tell

June 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

The only sure way to safely predict what will happen in the future is to travel through time the slow way and observe what happens.

The phrase ‘only time will tell’ means we won’t know what will happen until it does. A case of stating the obvious.

The last few months have seen a sharp rise in journalistic usage of the phrase with around 1,400 appearances per month compared to 400 two years ago.

“The survivors have gone on to have bone-marrow transplants. Their prognosis is good, but relapse is still possible, and only time will tell.” (The New York Times, March 21)

“Only time will tell how this major development will affect services and facilities in Witney, but at the moment it looks predominately like positive news for the town.” (Whitney Gazette, UK, March 20)

“Only time will tell whether (Quebec Liberal Party leader) Mr Couillard is up to a challenge that, in principle, should be attainable since the PQ government, after less than six months in office, is plagued with voter dissatisfaction.” (The Globe and Mail, March 20)

“Only time will tell whether the trend of increasing economic diffusion persists …” (The Atlantic Monthly, March 19)

Chris Pash’s book, The Last Whale , a true story set in the 1970s about Australia’s last whaling station and the activists who fought to close it, was published by Fremantle Press in 2008.

Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week. Tags: , , .

Cliche of the Week 126 – Belt tightening The Last Whale – ABC Radio National’s Hindsight

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The Last Whale book

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