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What would be a good collocation to emphasize the absence of something. A 'strong absence' sounds a bit oxymoronic to me.

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    The most common construction is a "conspicuous absence". – Dan Bron Nov 29 '14 at 21:31
  • Thank you!! I also thought of 'striking', but your choice of word is ten times better. – asef Nov 29 '14 at 21:40
  • Sure, no problem; but fair warning, the phrase is a bit hackneyed. – Dan Bron Nov 29 '14 at 21:45
  • much less conspicuous, but not completely absent is: distinct absence – Jim Nov 30 '14 at 1:06
  • +1 for conspicuous. Also: a complete absence. – Drew Nov 30 '14 at 2:09
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gaping absence

also "gaping void" left by his/her absence ...

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