Friday, April 25, 2014


I called Verizon customer service the other day. I was instantly put on hold where a recording said, "Your call is important to us. Someone will be with you in a few brief moments."

It was time enough to think about that phrase: a few brief moments.

Verizon could have used the phrase "in a minute" or "in a moment" but they felt the need to be extremely specific.

"A moment" is pretty quick, so if one modifies it with "brief" they're indicating a sensationally short amount of time.

But then they modify that with "a few." A few of those terribly swift wisps of time.

So Verizon is explicitly saying they'll be with you in an amount of time that is shorter than a moment but longer than a brief moment.

I timed it. Their customer service representative picked up the phone in 4:35. Four and a half minutes — you know, a few brief moments.

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