When someone says "not in the near future, but way down the future" with particular emphasis on the word "way", does it mean 10-15 years down the line or 2-3 years down the future?

I asked someone about the future of a particular career and this is what they had to say about the future prospects of that particular field. "It will pick up, not in the near future, but way down into the future".

closed as primarily opinion-based by ab2, curiousdannii, jimm101, NVZ, BiscuitBoy Mar 16 '16 at 10:27

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  • From the information you give it's impossible to tell. Without at least a relative timeline (human, geological, stellar, whatever) the "near future" could be anywhere from 2 to 2 billion years. – Misneac Nov 13 '15 at 21:45
  • Any precise number will be opinion -based. – Centaurus Nov 13 '15 at 21:46
  • Somewhere between 3 days and 3 millennia. – Hot Licks Nov 13 '15 at 21:47
  • Way is just an informal measurement of indeterminate space and time. Way back. Way over there. Way into the future. ("down into the future" just sounds weird.) Way before my time. – Joe Dark Nov 13 '15 at 22:03
  • 1
    If I heard that I would probably assume sometime around 2045. That's my personal feeling when speaking of "career-length futures". It's absolutely useless and completely imprecise. This question is effectively unanswerable. – Misneac Nov 13 '15 at 22:05

Way is used to refer to:

  • A period between one point in time and another:

    • So, as long as we've got them, we don't have to worry about William becoming king, because that's quite a long way off.


  • It generally used to refer to an unknown period of time.

Way can be used, informally (slang), as an intensifier with the sense of extremely, very, really (OED draft addition 1993).

Usages I use and hear include - way more (very much more), way further (a great deal further), way sweeter (very much sweeter), way beyond (very much further beyond), way cooler (very much more, er..cool (man!).

More information here Are "way better" and "way more" correct?.

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