General Writing and Grammar Help/Over

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Question
Dear Ted:

What does "over" mean in the sentence below?

Al-Qaida branch suspected after co-ordinated blasts rock the Iraqi capital over half an hour

As always, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Paolo:

What does "over" mean in the sentence below?

Al-Qaida branch suspected after co-ordinated blasts rock the Iraqi capital over
half an hour

*** The sentence, besides missing a period at the end, doesn't seem to HAVE an ending.

1.  One interpretation is that this news is very current, and the blasts happened just thirty minutes ago.

2.  The second interpretation, the one I favor, is that "over" actually should be "more than."

*** My preference for #2 is weakened, though, because of the present tense "rock."  That word suggests to me that the blasts just occurred.

Are you sure you have the entire sentence?  If so, it is a very poor sentence -- NOT something that you would have written.  Your English is much too good.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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