Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a single word for an amount of time spent on a task for example? More specific than duration?

share|improve this question
    
And what is wrong with duration, which does the job, it seems. –  Schroedingers Cat Jun 20 '12 at 13:44
    
you may try to use 'elapsed'. The usage is generally 'time elapsed' but there's hardly anything else than time that can be elapsed, so there's no ambiguity in "elapsed: 5 minutes". –  SF. Jun 20 '12 at 14:33
    
@JasperLoy: context is labor hours invested. Can't think of a more specific context. –  Mitja Jun 20 '12 at 15:02
add comment

closed as not a real question by Jasper Loy, Mitch, KitFox, kiamlaluno, Matt Эллен Jun 21 '12 at 8:08

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I can't think of a single word, except maybe hours. People talk about the hours they worked on something. "How many hours do you have in this week?"

I saw that one time-tracking site called time spent on a task "active time," and another called it "tasktime" (one word, but coined, I think). In an office setting, it could also be called "billable time" or "billable hours."

share|improve this answer
    
Sometimes this is measured in man-hours, and least in the O.P.'s context. –  J.R. Jun 20 '12 at 14:32
add comment

I did my stint in the kitchen yesterday.

a period of time spent at a particular activity

share|improve this answer
    
Yes, that's the meaning, but it's usually applied to unpleasant activities, and it falutes a little low for official payroll accounting. Still, stint might work in the particular context; only the OP can say. –  John Lawler Jun 20 '12 at 14:11
add comment

You can't really spend time. You can spend money, though, and you can use the Time is Money metaphor theme.

In the paper linked above, the object of spend is called "perceived duration", because it's general over all uses of the metaphor. However, in a specific task-oriented time accounting context -- where Time really is Money -- I think self-explanatory labels like "Total time spent by all workers on task X" or "Mean daily time spent by worker Y on task Z" work far better than searching out the perfect one-word label. If they don't fit the space available for labels, give some thought to priorities.

Executive Summary: If it's not obvious to you, it won't be obvious to your readers, either.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You can while time:

: to cause to pass especially without boredom or in a pleasant manner —usually >used with away

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.