5
   

Should "it's a ways out" be "it's a way out"?

 
 
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:58 am

Context:

Researchers hope to turn such hints into a deep understanding of what boredom is, how it manifests in the brain and how it relates to factors such as self-control. But “it's a ways out before we're answering those questions”, says Shane Bench, a psychologist who studies boredom in the lab of Heather Lench at Texas A&M University in College Station. In particular, investigators need better ways to measure boredom and more reliable techniques for making research subjects feel bored in the lab.

More:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-boredom-is-anything-but-boring/
 
View best answer, chosen by oristarA
ehBeth
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 11:06 am
@oristarA,

it's a ways out is a colloquial way of saying something is a long distance/time away

http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/a-ways-off.581279/

it's a way out is an idiom for excuse

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/idiom.html
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 11:22 am
@ehBeth,
Golly Beth you beat me to it
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2016 12:48 am
@oristarA,
You're right, Oris, in the sense that, in formal English, you would say "a way out," not "a ways out," if you mean it's distant or remote.

Kids say things like "it's for reals," instead of "it's for real." Pretty soon, some people start treating these deviations as if they are "proper" English. They aint. But they aint nuthin wrong with them, neither.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2016 11:28 am
@layman,
Good'n Lay, made my day
0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2016 04:43 pm
'A ways' is not just childish slang, it is found in regional US dialects, mainly Southern.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Jan, 2016 04:52 pm
I would dissent only so far as to say it's a "country boy" usage, north or south.
Stteeephhy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2016 02:43 am
@oristarA,
Yes
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2018 12:57 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
I would dissent only so far as to say it's a "country boy" usage, north or south.


And, as always, without a shred of proof. The fella who spoke these words was from a university.

The definition from M-W gives 3 examples from print media. What drives you to provide your obviously uninformed opinions when you are so often wrong, Setanta?
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2018 02:23 pm
"It's a ways out," seems appropriate to me when meaning somewhere far out in the country. There's another southern saying, more country dialect than "It's a ways out". "It's a fer piece." I've heard that from time to time.
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2018 02:28 pm
@coluber2001,
Quote:
"It's a ways out," seems appropriate to me when meaning somewhere far out in the country.


That is not how it was used in the original post, coluber. As Beth noted, it is also used for time.

0 Replies
 
 

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