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It was very disturbing to learn that Google will not open source Android 3.0 in timely fashion.

What is the meaning of in timely fashion?

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Another interesting thing about this quote: I didn't know "open source" could be a verb. –  Marthaª Mar 30 '11 at 20:04
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The phrase in timely fashion means quickly, promptly, within a reasonable time frame. One might also hear in a timely manner, which has the same meaning.

For further reference, here are the relevant definitions of timely and fashion according to NOAD:

timely done or occurring at a favorable or useful time; opportune

fashion a manner of doing something

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Basically, it means "quickly enough" or "on time".

timely: 1. coming early or at the right time; 2: appropriate or adapted to the times or the occasion

fashion: 2b. mode of action or operation

Note that I usually hear/see this phrase with an article:

You need to pay your bills in a timely fashion if you want your credit score to improve.

Omitting the article makes it sound a little awkward, but not necessarily incorrect.

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Actually, I think the article makes it rather awkward. For me, it's either in timely fashion or in a timely manner. –  Jimi Oke Mar 30 '11 at 14:40
Just for what it may be worth, in legal paperwork it's fairly common to see phrases like "timely filed" instead of "filed in a timely manner." I found it a bit jarring at first, but "timely" is constructed as an adverb, not an adjective. –  Jerry Coffin Mar 30 '11 at 19:18
@Jerry Coffin: Yes, I've seen that too, and it still jars for me - I understand the need to reduce "in a timely fashion" given how often it crops up in legal contexts, but personally I'd prefer "on time"! @Martha: +1 for it sounding better with an article. –  psmears Mar 30 '11 at 19:44
According to Google, "in a timely fashion" is 8x more common than "in timely fashion" - and to me it sounds strange without the article. –  James Moore Oct 6 '11 at 19:43
Lawyers sometimes use timeously for this, to reduce the number of words. (That few people understand it is another advantage.) –  TimLymington Dec 6 '11 at 14:31
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It means “as quickly as is reasonable in a particular situation”.

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