# Is it correct to say "consecutively in time"?

I'm writing a technical report and I want to emphasize that each sample that I have stored in a buffer has been collected before the following one. Can I say,

The samples from the buffer are known to have been captured consecutively in time?

Sounds redundant to me. I'd put a period after "consecutively". Alternatively, you might try "in chronological order".

• 'In chronological order' does not mean the same as consecutively. A series of events can occur in chronological order, without being consecutive. Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 16:05
• @Dan: If a series of events are consecutive then they are also chronological, no? So, consecutive would be a more restrictive term than chronological? Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 17:10
• "Consecutively" implies some higher density; an ordering without gaps. The numbers [1, 2, 5] are not consecutive, but are in order. If I read that a list of samples were consecutive, I would assume that the list presented is all samples at some maximum sampling precision. (Either way, it is grammatical.)
– user2400
Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 19:12
• @MrHen: Yes; I just wanted to make the point that 'consecutively' and 'in chronological order' are not equivalent, in case Jal is not a native speaker. Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 21:38

I cannot definitively say that consecutively in time is incorrect, but the phrasing is awkward, at best. I would suggest the good old simple expression, one after other. More formally, you could also say, in succession:

• The samples from the buffer are known to have been captured one after the other.
• The samples from the buffer are known to have been captured in succession.

I think `consecutively` should suffice; it's as if the 'in time' is an inelegant hint as to what consecutively actually means, to those who aren't sure.

I think you could easily use the word, "sequentially."

From dictionary.com

se·quen·tial    [si-kwen-shuhl]

1. characterized by regular sequence of parts.

2. following; subsequent; consequent.

Well, it could be used to make a distinction if the word were also serving other meanings:

1. Following one after another without interruption; successive: was absent on three consecutive days; won five consecutive games on the road.

2. Marked by logical sequence.

3. Grammar Expressing consequence or result: a consecutive clause.

If you had just used the word in its logical or grammatical sense, you might add "in time" if you then wanted to be clear about which version a chronological statement was serving.

Unless you are able to break a fundamental law of physics, consecutively in time is redundant.

If this is a technical report and you're discussing buffers, then your audience should/will probably understand FIFO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFO

A queue is FIFO, a stack is LIFO.

Just one word: `successively`.