I’ve just had some time out – time out of visiting the internet zone so as to concentrate on my visiting family.
Merriam-Webster gives these definitions of the phrase or word, although they hyphenate it.
Simple Definition of time–out
: a short period of time during a sports event when the game stops and the players rest or talk to their coach
: a short period of time when you stop doing something so that you can rest or do something else
: a short period of time when a child must sit quietly as punishment for behaving badly
I have no argument with any of those, except that I disagree in principle with excluding children from one’s company and activities when they do something inconvenient to one’s own priorities.
It’s the compound word Timeout that intrigues me, and it’s not mentioned by any of the dictionaries I’ve seen online. Have I invented or imagined it? To me it’s a synonym of ‘time’s up’, the point at which the time allocated for a task has run out and we have to stop whether finished or not. Apocalypse now?
You’ve had your chance and missed it – something that we are now aware of in terms of our stewardship of the planet – are we already beyond the Timeout for reversing Global Warming? Are we Timed Out? It may not be a real word but it says what I’m trying to mean.