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I want you to be with me only two times in my life.. now & forever

I came across this sentence the other day, and thought that the usage of "two times" for "now and forever" is incorrect, since forever encompasses now. Am I right?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

"Now and forever" is a common phrase. This sentence is supposed to be witty, specifically because the "now and forever" part does not fit the reader's expectations of what "two times" will be.

It is a play on words, and isn't supposed to follow formal logic. Even if the sentence were changed to:

I want you to be with me only one time in my life: forever

It still wouldn't be logically correct, because forever is not a specific time — it is infinite.

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Too bad you've hit the rep cap for today, I'm upvoting you in vain... – RegDwigнt Jan 6 '11 at 19:40
Excellent! Thank you! – input Jan 6 '11 at 20:40
@RegDwight: I guess I'm on a roll today. – Kosmonaut Jan 6 '11 at 20:53

It's a joke. It's like counting "me, myself, and I" as three people: it deliberately uses words in illogical and thus unexpected ways. Note that the sentence is fully grammatical, so in that sense it is correct.

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Please bear with me Martha, but how is the sentence grammatical and hence, correct? – input Jan 6 '11 at 19:47
@fuz3d, there's verb tense & number agreement, the sentence structure is properly formed, none of the words are misspelled - if you just look at it from a parts-of-speech standpoint, everything looks fine. Hence, grammatical. – Marthaª Jan 6 '11 at 19:51
Ahh.. okay now I understand. Thank you very much! – input Jan 6 '11 at 20:40
@fuz3d: notice how Martha didn't say "grammatical and hence correct"; she actually said "grammatical, so in that sense it is correct". Even complete and utter nonsense can still be grammatically impeccable. Check out "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" or "’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves / Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; / All mimsy were the borogoves, / And the mome raths outgrabe." – RegDwigнt Jan 6 '11 at 20:56

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