How Long is…?

How Long is…?

We understand that it takes about a second to say “about a second” or that a minute is a relatively small amount of time consisting of sixty seconds. We are taught that a foot is 12 inches, but it is much harder to imagine that 5,280 of them would make up a mile. Yet there are other phrases we have heard that we may have even less of an idea of what they mean. Here are some examples.

A Generation

We have heard of “a once in a generation athlete” or “once in a generation solar phenomenon.” But how long is a generation? Should it be taken literally, as if how long it takes a complete generation to pass on? Actually, while not exact, a generation is usually understood to be about 20-30 years, the amount of time it takes one generation to replicate into another. A six generation family would include a living Great-Grandparent, Grandparent, Parent, Child, a Grandchild and Great-Grandchild.

A Season

If you think all of our seasons are exactly the same length, you are mistaken. In fact, they change in length slightly as to when they start and end each year. Summer is actually our longest season at 93 days and 15 hours, followed by Spring at 92 days and 19 hours. Fall is 89 days and 20 hours in length and winter is 89 days in length.


A score is a period of 20 years. When Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address saying “Four score and seven years ago” he meant 87 years ago.


Before being associated with a video game, a fortnight was a definition of a period of time meaning two weeks. “I’ll be back in a fortnight” meant I will see you in two weeks. Fortnite, the game, uses a slightly different spelling.

A Business Day

While a business day generally lasts 8 hours, if a vendor says your package will be delivered in three business days that does not mean 24 hours (3×8). A business day refers to a day business is conducted through the week, Monday through Friday. If an item is promised for delivery in 3 business days and is ordered on a Tuesday, you should have it by Thursday or Friday. If ordered on a Friday, however, a three business day delivery means the package should arrive by the following Tuesday or Wednesday.

An Eternity

No one know how long this is, so it generally refers to “never gonna happen.”


The average lifespan for a woman in the U.S. is about 78 years while the life expectancy for a male in the U.S. is about 75 years.

Unlike eternity, we know our lifespan has limits. This is why so many people buy life insurance, to continue to support those left behind in the event of their death. Life insurance can pay old bills, account for final funeral expenses and even provide for a future college education of a child or grandchild. If you would like to know more, contact one of our independent insurance agents with your questions and to get a no obligation quote.

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