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Instead of writing "You may extend or shrink the deadlines if you choose to", I would like a word that encompasses both.

However I do not want something as generic as "adjust" or "modify". The word should embody extending and shrinking.

  • "You may flexible the deadlines" does not work. It must be a verb that replaces "extend or shrink" and means the same thing. – k29 Nov 30 '18 at 10:04
  • shrink is not the antonym of extend. the antonym of shrink is grow. – Toothrot May 1 at 11:12
  • Ok, I have removed my assertion that they are antonyms – k29 May 2 at 9:35
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If you have two extremes and want a common word to encompass them it generally needs to be "generic" in nature, however due to the need to convey a specific topic related freedom the common terms for adjusting deadline time could be

"alter" "change" or "vary"

"You may vary the deadlines if you choose to"

shrink and expand are usually associated with a timeline chart or project plan and if that is the context of moving either boundary then an obvious modifier could be

"reposition"

"You may reposition the deadlines if you choose to"

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Strictly speaking, neither extend nor shrink should be used with deadline in the first place. (Although I understand the idiomatic use.) A deadline is something that happens at a fixed point in time, it doesn't have a duration. Instead, you extend or shrink the duration of a project or the period of time before a deadline is to occur. (A generic word that applies to both extending and shrinking is resizing—but that has more of a spatial sense than a temporal one.)

For deadlines, you would reschedule them:

: to schedule or plan again according to a different timetable
especially : to defer required payment of (a debt or loan)

// She called to reschedule her appointment.
// The meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday.

You can also simply say that you move deadlines.

  • How would you speak of moving a deadline forwards and backwards? – Toothrot May 1 at 11:06
  • @Toothrot Either something like I'm moving the deadline up (shrinking the duration of the project) or I'm moving the deadline back (extending the duration of the project.) Don't ask me why moving it up means pulling it closer, or why, analogously, we don't say moving the deadline down when we want to delay it (pushing it away). Some things don't make complete sense, it's just how we say them. – Jason Bassford May 1 at 11:14

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