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I've heard "since forever" used by many. I can't get my head around the contradiction in terms. Is it correct?

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    @Xanne, I am reasonably familiar with the expression since forever (yes, slang) and do not agree that it can refer to an indefinite future as well as past, nor that since is in this context an intensifier; rather, it is a preposition, and since forever means since a very long time ago. The usual tense with it is perfect, not present: "I have loved you since forever." Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 21:04
  • @Brian Donovan I think Xanne is correct in that there is an intensification brought about by the use of 'since' here; 'I've always loved you(!)' doesn't have the welly of 'I've loved you since forever(!)'. Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 21:19
  • @BrianDonovan It's definitely there to intensify the expression. I would agree that it does not refer necessarily to an indefinite future but it's used by close friends or family members to express a long and cherished relationship. You would never really say this to a casual acquaintance (or even a fairly decent friend): "Gosh, we have known each other since forever.". You could say, "I've known someone since last Tuesday.". But "since forever!" has become an idiomatic type expression to describe a long cherished relationship.
    – Kace36
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 23:17
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    It's an idiom. It's correct. Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 0:48
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    Forever simply means 'eternal'. That is, it's infinite in extent in both temporal directions. Since humans experience their lives in one direction, we normally use forever to refer to a period of time starting now and not ending; i.e, the future. But it can just as well mean that the period extends indefinitely into the past, if the occasion calls for it. As it doesn when forever is the object of since, which denotes a length of past time stretching up to now from some indefinite time in the past, Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 2:43

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It is an idiom. It is correct and is used to mean "since a long time ago".

Forever denotes an endless period of time that could be in the past, the future, or from the past to the future. Putting 'since' in front of it makes it be just about the past. It literally means 'from the beginning of time until now'.

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  • Please add supporting references to these claims. Answers lacking support almost always come across as, and may be, merely opinion ... and opinions are often incorrect. Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 12:37
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I think you got a good answer. I will add that I think it is a term of slang hyperbole. It is an exaggeration common with teenagers mostly. As teenagers are experiencing time and words and the the whole universe in new and developing ways, they speak in overstated expression. But anyone can say it that wants to suggest something has been dragging on and they feel there is no resolution in sight.

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