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Was Professor McGonagall wrong?

(5 Posts)
BitOfFun Sat 16-Jul-11 21:58:38

I saw a bit of the first Harry Potter film on TV today, and noticed that Prof.McGonagall said that "The sorting ceremony will begin momentarily".

I always thought that this was incorrect- doesn't 'momentarily' mean "for the briefest of moments", rather than "in a moment"? It may be different in the United States, but that's not where Hogwarts is, is it?

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 16-Jul-11 22:07:56

I think you are right. In Britain, it means "for a short time" and in America it means "in a short while", if that makes sense.

But it also sounds like one of those words people say when they are trying to be faux posh, which I kind of feel fits Professor McGonagall. I bet she wasn't a Hogswarts pupil wink

BitOfFun Sat 16-Jul-11 22:08:30

Good answer grin

BitOfFun Sat 16-Jul-11 23:54:36

Any late night pedants?

Thinkofanumber Thu 21-Jul-11 23:32:08

In Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (Guards! Guards!, I think) Lord Vetinari says he will deal with some paperwork momentarily. In the text it explains that this left the other person (possibly Captain Vimes) wondering which meaning of momentarily applied.

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