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Posted by Snoozy Lew on October 14, 2004

In Reply to: Asleep posted by David FG on October 14, 2004

: : : Which is preferred?
: : : She was fast asleep!
: : : or
: : : She was sound asleep!
: : : We have divided opinions here and would appreciate any and all input.

: : I hadn't thought of this before but I think, "fast asleep" is that she's fully asleep.

: : "Sound asleep" implies she's in a deep sleep.

: : The difference if there is any is very slight so I'd think either way of saying it would do.

: I haven't given it any thought until now either. I am not sure, but I think I probably use them very much interchangeably - no doubt I will now be shown to be unspeakably sloppy!

'fast' is used in the sense of 'tightly' or 'resolutely' (think 'fastened') - and 'sound' is being used in the sense of 'solid' or 'reliable' - there is not a fag-paper of difference between the usages when applied to sleep (IMO).
both are entirely acceptable meaning completely asleep.
I like 'comatose' myself.