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When we can use "recent past"? How much past time qualifies for "recent past"?

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Definitely need context here. –  Noldorin Aug 13 '10 at 9:42
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It would depend on the subject at hand. In certain circles, anything in the Cenozoic Era might count as the 'recent past'. I've certainly used the term myself in ordinary conversation to mean 'since the last ice age'.

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+1. Recent is relative. Past is relative. –  Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Aug 17 '10 at 13:31
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When referring to historic and architectural resources, there is the "fifty year rule", which means that the resources are younger than fifty years old.

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