I'm writing an essay regarding the concept of Carpe Diem and I'd like to start my introduction with the following sentence:

"In the span of the universe, a human life is an incredibly short period of time."

I feel like I'm using "in the span of" wrong. What I'm trying to get at is that the length of a human life is a very short amount of time when compared to the lifespan of the universe.

Any help regarding the matter would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    You could say "Compared to..." "Compared to the age of the universe, a human life-span is incredibly short."
    – ab2
    Feb 21, 2016 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


Your statement could be considered accurate, although a bit ambiguous, as I think the first thing most people would think of upon hearing "the span of the universe" is the spatial span of it. If you said "In the time-span of the universe, a human life is incredibly short" or ""Compared with the time-span of the universe, a human life is incredibly short", it would be a little clearer.

Compare: the various definitions of span: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/span with the much more specific (and thus less ambiguous) definition of time-span: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/timespan

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