Make Your Editor Cry: as [time] progressed

Make Your Editor Cry:  as [time] progressed

I often encounter phrases like “as time progressed” or “as the hours progressed” in submissions. You may be familiar with the idiom, “Time marches on.” The problem with this is a logical problem.

The logical problem is that while events may progress (or march) in time, time itself does not progress—it can only pass. To personify time in this way in a literal sense creates a fallacy because while we can experience time, time cannot and does not conversely experience us.

A phrase like “as time passed” or “as the hours passed” or “as the seconds passed” or really any increment of time would be correct. Days, years, months, minutes, what have you. They can pass, they go by, but they cannot progress or march.

Try variations of passing time like “as time goes by” or “moving forward” or “in the fullness of time.” But time cannot progress.

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