instantaneously vs instantly
Please look at this sentence.
He instantaneously closed his eyes and passed on.
Could we also say
He instantly closed his eyes and passed on.
Because Americans typically exaggerate, instantly usually means quickly, while instantaneously would actually mean at that very moment in time.
I would never use "instantaneously" in that sentence. It's got nothing to do with American usage.
To me, instantly doesn't sound right, there. It's a usage I'm not accustomed to but logically, both are correct.
I'd prefer "instantly". "Instantaneously" would mean that virtually NO time elapsed, not even milliseconds. It's generally used literally rather than figuratively.
I agree with Skippy but not the American part. There must be something else that happened or is happening at the same time for the author to use "instantaneously". "Instantly" wouldn't necessarily convey the same idea but would have more to do with the speed of the action.
What is "passed on" referring to?
"Passed on", when used intransitively, is a euphemism for "died". One could also say "passed away".
Yes, the "-aneous" part of the words means at that very moment in time. Instantaneous - at that very instant - bang on the very moment in time the event occurred - "death was instantaneous in the accident". "He died instantly" would suggest a rather less precise moment of occurrence. "Contemporaneous" - happening or existing or occurring at the precise same moment in history....."Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada were contemporaneous in English history".
simultaneously and instantaneously are sysnoymous?????
Not quite. "Instantaneous" still denotes a sequence of events, whereas "simultaneous" does not. If I press a button and something instantaneously happens, it's clear that what happened was caused by pressing the button, even though it appeared to happen more or less at the same time. But if I press it and something simultaneously happens, it was not caused by pressing the button.
OK, as far as I can see, not too much difference, if any. It was worth asking, anyway.
Thanks a lot, everybody.