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What does a "couple of weeks" mean exactly?!


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Old 21st August 2009, 7:41 PM   #1
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Talking What does a "couple of weeks" mean exactly?!

When someone says that they'll do something in "a couple of weeks" what does that mean? 2 weeks? 2-3 weeks? 2-5 weeks? a month? I know everyone has their own definition. But it's bugging me because I'm waiting for a specific phone call and I don't want to be caught off guard. I have been keeping myself busy for the past 2 weeks (exactly) but today, while I was cleaning my apartment, I realized that it has been 2 weeks! So I started to freak out a bit.

A couple of weeks? Anyone? Haha
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Old 21st August 2009, 8:03 PM   #2
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'in a couple of weeks' = sometime within the next two weeks. if it's been longer, then i suppose they're a bit late. but who's counting (besides you) ? if you needed something by a certain date, you gotta let them know.

i can just imagine you had they used 'fortnight' instead
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Old 21st August 2009, 8:29 PM   #3
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The word "couple" means two. A couple of weeks technically means two weeks. People sometimes confuse this with the term, a few weeks, which has a broader range of time.

If this is in reference to a job, I wouldn't hold my breath over people sticking to timing. Many times, other issues crop up that need to be addressed, previous to contacting a potential new employee.
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Old 21st August 2009, 8:44 PM   #4
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"a couple" = 2
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Old 21st August 2009, 8:50 PM   #5
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since I have a problem with judging time (unless I keep actual track of it with a calendar of course, which unfortunately I'm not good about doing) in my head with whatever else is going on in life...or really if nothing else is going on, lol..well, I just live in my own world and time sometimes goes slow and sometimes goes fast, you never know...you know what I mean?

And also since I have a tendency to procrastinate....especially when whatever the task is may be something unpleasant, or if it is something pleasant that I may be looking forward to but I am nervous about for some reason (I have anxiety problems), or even sometimes when it is just a random very neutral no big deal thing that is no threat to me, I'll procrastinate just out of habit.

So for me "a couple weeks" in LITERAL time, would honestly usually mean somewhere from 2 and a half weeks to 3 weeks, probably (not like I keep track but I think so). It's one of those things where originally of course the word "couple" technically means two...and to some people these days it still means that, but for other people in this modern age, I think we may kind of use it as just a general guestimation of time, as in..."I will call you in a while"...but literally for me it does still mean a certain time frame...Just that most likely it is usually just a little past the actual two weeks.

Or sometimes if it is something I am dreading and more official, I may literally mean 2 weeks, but I just put it off because I am nervous, and then after a few days or a week goes by I finally realize that I have to do it wether I like it or not, and bite the bullet. So for me 2 and a half to 3 weeks seems about accurate.

Not that everyone is like me, lots of people aren't, thankfully.

But if it gets to be a month and you still haven't heard anything, I would assume that this person has either forgotten they told you they would call, or there is a lot going on in their life, and they are having one of those phases where all aspects of their lives are getting chaotic all at once and they don't feel like they can add another thing to their plate currently wether it is a business situation or personal.

But if it is really bothering you every day, and your planning your days around waiting for a call, if they said "a couple weeks" ...to me that means that after 2 weeks and maybe a couple days has passed, YOU are allowed to call THEM. And you don't have to get on their case for being late, but just ask them if you could set up a time to talk when you are both free wether it is tomorrow or a week from now. And then you will have an official appointment time that they will be more likely to follow through on, so you can go about your days till then without worrying about missing a call.
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Old 21st August 2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the replies. It's not a job position. It's a very complex situation and I didn't want to type it all up because it would honestly be an essay.

I'm not waiting for the phone call each day. I haven't even noticed it has been 2 weeks, until today (which is probably a good thing but now I'm starting to count the days which is horrible). When he said a couple I really didn't think it was this long... A couple to me personally meant after 2 weeks but before 3.

It's funny because if anything ever annoys me it is the time. Because I have this tendency to keep myself pre-occupied with everything, I don't pay attention to it but when I do, I count the minutes. It's pretty crazy.

Earthgirl: thank you for your reply!!! haha... You sound like me. Haha. I'm not going to "yell" at this person or get angry at them. I don't yell or get angry. If they don't call me by the end of next week, I will have no problem in calling them. I would just like it if they called me first. It's about keeping a promise they made more than it is about the phone call. And I hope he didn't forget about it (even though he rarely forgets... so I don't even know why I'm thinking this haha).
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Old 22nd August 2009, 5:04 AM   #7
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if someone told me that they'd get back to me, or get something to me, in a 'couple weeks,' and they run past that without good reason, i'll typically award them around 1.57 flaky points; which of course is about the same as a 2.043 debit on their credibility rating.

i'm not saying i'm perfect on timing--i'm pretty sure i carry on average about 9 or 10 flaky points myself.
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Old 22nd August 2009, 5:37 AM   #8
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Funny how this works, when I say a couple weeks it means 'somewhere between two weeks and a month.' When others say two weeks, I count it down on my calendar foolishly thinking 'but a couple is only 2!'

Unless of course it pertains to business... I am always punctual about that. In my personal life I try to avoid these terms because it just gives me an excuse to procrastinate.
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