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The Subtle Differences Among These Three SAT Words

I walked into a networking meeting last night and almost immediately found my expertise on words being sought. An attorney approached me and asked the difference between contemporaneously, concurrently and simultaneously. “You’re the expert,” he said. I admitted I did not know the answer immediately but would look it up.

The first thing I did was drop the -ly suffix and look up the words. Contemporaneous means “existing, occurring, or originating during the same time.” Concurrent means “operating or occurring at the same time.” Simultaneous means “existing or occurring at the same time.”

That was no help.

So I looked further and found in my dictionary this usage note: Contemporaneous refers to events; simultaneous implies correspondence in a moment of time. Then on, I found similar explanations for contemporaneous and simultaneous, along with this note on concurrent: “Concurrent implies parallelism in character or length of time: The mass murderer was given three concurrent life sentences.” (italics added)

There you have it. Hopefully, these attorneys will now properly write them into opening/closing arguments.

Thanks to Steven M. for the idea.

Until next time! Use the right words!



March 28, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. THANKS for clearing this one up! Our language in “law” leaves for many arguments as well as pathways! Geeze, amuzing in some ways disgusting in most! That. Is only my opinión and we all have one. Again thank friend have a great one! One what? You decide! :b


    Comment by 2gsmd | October 16, 2015 | Reply

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