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I know this is really weird, but I think I'm essentially trying to describe Death as an entity that is to a temporal stream of events what a painting is to a film; both are complete entities, but are fundamentally different in how they deal with time. The painting is temporally static, whereas the film has a changeable moment - like life, it has a "present", past and future.

If I try to write about death in this way, is there a word to express that?

Infinite, unchanging, eternal and constant don't quite seem to work because they imply a passage of time around the subject. I'd considered "timeless", but I'm not entirely sure about it because I feel like it has too many connotations of "classic", or again, that it simply implies something unaffected by time rather than something alien to it.

I realise this is a bit of a longshot, but does anyone have any ideas? If there isn't a word for it, I'd even be up for suggestions for a new word, so long as it's meaning is recognisable.

  • 'Punctive' is defined: a punctive event happens at a point, or what can be considered a point, in time. It's usually used when discussing grammar (the synonym 'punctual' is also used, but has a far more common sense) and contrasts with 'durative'. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 30 '16 at 16:21
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    Death is a time span with a more or less well defined beginning, so it is not timeless at all. It is eternal (at least one sided infinite interval of time). – rexkogitans Oct 30 '16 at 17:50
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    Guys, please stop posting answers in comments. It defeats the upvote/downvote system and makes it harder for visitors to find and compare answers. – user1717828 Oct 30 '16 at 18:21
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    I wish you'd give us an idea how you want to use the word, with an example sentence. – aparente001 Oct 31 '16 at 0:45
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    @EdwinAshworth, I get what you're saying, but suggesting an answer is not a request for clarification, but a suggested answer. It should be posted as an answer and OP can iterate through it in the comments section (of that answer). – user1717828 Nov 8 '16 at 1:15
30

The word atemporal means

independent of or unaffected by time.

(Merriam-Webster's definition)

  • Wizard, I think that's exactly what I'm looking for, thanks! – user203511 Oct 30 '16 at 14:47
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    @user203511, if it fits your needs, don't forget to mark the answer with the green checkmark – user1717828 Oct 30 '16 at 18:25
9

"eternal" might be the word you're looking for.

  • unchanged by time, esp being true or valid for all time; immutable, eternal truths. TFD
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    "Infinite, unchanging, eternal and constant don't quite seem to work because they imply a passage of time around the subject." – timothymh Oct 30 '16 at 20:32
4

I'm accustomed to using "stasis" for the concept but it makes no sense for a painting. But as for Death itself we don't use such words at all. "Final" is what tends to get used.

  • It seems like "static" is the best answer to this question. – DilithiumMatrix Oct 21 '17 at 22:49
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It seems to me that you already mentioned the word you are looking for: "static", in the sense of "characterized by a lack of movement, animation, or progression". In the comparison you mentioned, the difference between the painting and a movie is about movement, which is a function of space and time.

  • This is more of a comment, if you reach 50 reputation you can comment on a question. – Helmar Nov 1 '16 at 13:24
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Everlasting. I think it could give the idea of atemporal moment or circumstance. I really cannot think of another word giving the idea disconnected to time; there is a danger to fall into phyilosophical discourses and statements—things I could digress of for hours and hours, but now I do not feel like doing it. Example:

Duran Duran's song: "Ordinary World" is an everlasting piece of music.

0

I suggest the adjective "aorist", also the name of the timeless / unlimited tense of some old Indo-European languages.

from TheFreeDictionary 1. a verb tense, as in Classical Greek, expressing action, esp. in the past, without further implication as to completion, duration, or repetition.

adj.

2. of or in this tense.

[1575–85; < Greek aóristos unlimited]

-1

Since you're willing to accept a new word so long as its meaning is recognizable, I'll offer one:

exchronous

with the intended meaning of "existing outside of (ex-) a/any period of/point in time (chronous)."

Since it's a neologism (as best I can tell), I have no sources/references to cite for this one.

  • How are non-words going to help people looking here for guidance on acceptable English? – Edwin Ashworth Nov 8 '16 at 0:48
  • @Edwin From the OP's question: "If there isn't a word for it, I'd even be up for suggestions for a new word, so long as it's [sic] meaning is recognisable." The OP specifically stated that a new word is acceptable; I wouldn't have suggested it otherwise. And I think it ticks the box of "recognizable meaning" as I formed the word from two familiar Greek/Latin parts. – pyobum Nov 8 '16 at 0:52
  • But I'm with @no-hat on this issue: 'I really don't feel comfortable at all with our site becoming a place where people go who want a word invented. While I delight in exciting new words being invented and promulgated, I think we will rapidly lose our reputation as a place where people can get authoritative answers if many answers are not authoritative but just merely inventive. // I'd go further, in fact, and say that a 'word' only comes into existence when a candidate gains a reasonable currency. ELU deals with accepted English usage. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 8 '16 at 0:55
  • @Mitch has also stated (scare-quotes mine, as a neologism has recently been recognised as a word) << If a question is looking for a 'neologism' ... [it is] off-topic because it is not answerable [in accordance with ELU policy]. >> – Edwin Ashworth Nov 8 '16 at 1:02
  • @EdwinAshworth I suppose if we carry on with this, it should move to chat, since this is going beyond the scope of/relevance to this particular question. I partially agree. I'm generally not a fan of trying to make up words to fit an OP's question; however, if the OP specifically asks for a new word or states that one is acceptable, and a good one comes to mind, I see nothing wrong with suggesting one, especially if the answerer makes it clear it's not an "established" word. I suppose we've just got a difference of opinion on this. I do at least appreciate your explanation for the downvote. – pyobum Nov 8 '16 at 1:02

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