Recently I wrote the following words.

Age gives you the wisdom of experience while youth gives you the intelligence of mental flexibility. There is a horizon time when you have both of these things to a significant extent.

Afterwards I looked up "horizon" in online dictionaries and I couldn't find a definition that matched this usage. I see it as similar to calling the point after which light cannot escape a black hole the "event horizon."

Is this usage correct?

  • 1
    Don't think it sounds right. Maybe "sweet spot" or even "sweet time" ? – k1eran Aug 28 '16 at 0:30
  • @k1eran this was in a text message that I've already sent. I'm not really interested in modifying it because I'll never see it again. My friend got the point. I just want to know if it's right. – Matt Samuel Aug 28 '16 at 0:32
  • Right? You mean you want a yes/no answer ? – k1eran Aug 28 '16 at 0:37
  • @k1eran preferably with an explanation as to why or why not, but yeah. – Matt Samuel Aug 28 '16 at 0:39
  • 2
    Doesn't do it for me. How about There is a point where the equivariant cohomology ring of yourth has yet to become more fundamental than the cohomology ring of old age? – deadrat Aug 28 '16 at 0:40

I take it you mean something like

a [measurable but indeterminate] period in the human lifetime after acquiring the wisdom of experience and before losing the flexibility of youth.

If this is correct, then I don't think horizon in its common sense works. As you note in a couple of comments, a horizon is a dividing line or border—one crosses it, rather than being in the midst of it. It's also typically a barrier or limit of a sort, since one cannot see beyond the astronomical horizon.

However, if you are talking to geologists or archaeologists, it might make sense. According to the OED Online, a horizon can be

a. Geol. A . . . stratum or set of strata characterized by a particular fossil or group of fossils.


c. Archaeol. A level . . . which is taken as representing a particular culture or cultural period.

("horizon, n." Def. 5. OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 28 August 2016.)

Basing your metaphor on one of these senses of the word, I don't think it's too big a stretch to refer to an "era" of your life as a horizon.


I think it's fine - it is clear enough that by "horizon" you mean some point in the future, though to be honest I'm not really sure what you're actually trying to say. The common idiom "on the horizon" usually suggests a nearer time frame than I think you are looking to convey, but in more specialised contexts (economics in particular) the term "horizon" is sometimes used more broadly, for example a "planning horizon":


a planning horizon is the length of time an individual plans ahead

The phrase "horizon time" does sound a little awkward to me, though. Usually "horizon" implies it's time-related without the explicit "time", but I think the sentence would need a bit of reworking before you could drop it entirely.

  • I actually meant horizon as in dividing line. I meant for the time to be now, not the future. – Matt Samuel Aug 28 '16 at 0:52
  • Ah. I guess it wasn't clear then. For what it's worth: in the economics sense, "horizons" are often just that: dividing lines through a space of possibilities. – Lemma Aug 28 '16 at 1:01

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