Posted by Victoria S Dennis on August 12, 2005
In Reply to: SPLIT SECOND posted by KAY on August 12, 2005
: IS "SPLIT SECOND" AN IDIOM? IF SO WHERE AND WHEN DID IT ORIGINATE FROM?
Yes, it's an idiom. It simply means "part of a second", and originated more than 40 years ago (I remember it in my childhood)when a second was the shortest period of time that could practicably be measured, and the idea of "less than a second" was quite far-fetched. Now of course we have the technology to measure nano-seconds, so a "split second" isn't a startlingly short time at all any more.