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lightbulb moment Options
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 11:27:13 PM

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lightbulb moment
in British English
NOUN
informal
a moment of sudden inspiration, revelation, or recognition
Lightbulb moment definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary


[Q1] Is "lightbulb moment" commonly used in American English?

[Q2] Is the following sentence correct?

A lightbulb moment hit me when I happened to see the word "symmetry" in a blog article, and so I was able to solve the math problem.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 12:00:30 AM

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The earliest published use of it I can find is American - 1993. The earliest published English use is a couple of years later.

Your sentence sounds OK - I don't think there's a "set phrasing" for it, really.

I'd probably say "My/The lightbulb moment was when I happened to see . . ." - but that is simply my style.

The idea is much older - it just wasn't written as "lightbulb moment", it was often shown in cartoons.
This one is from the 1950s, I think.

thar
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 12:45:01 AM

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I agree the phrasing is slightly off.
A idea comes to you. If that happens suddenly, it hits you.
A moment doesn't hit you, it happens.
Reiko07
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 9:51:32 AM

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Thank, DS and thar. How about these?

(1) I had a lightbulb moment when I happened to see the word "symmetry" in a blog article, and so I was able to solve the math problem.

(2) A lightbulb moment came about when I happened to see the word "symmetry" in a blog article, and so I was able to solve the math problem.

thar
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 10:22:47 AM

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Reiko07 wrote:
Thank, DS and thar. How about these?

(1) I had a lightbulb moment when I happened to see the word "symmetry" in a blog article, and so I was able to solve the math problem.
This is good

Either
and I was able to (as a consequence)
or
so I was able to (I don't like that one. The phrase 'lightbulb moment includes the meaning that the solution came to you. It is saying 'I got the solution so I was able to solve it.' It doesn't feel right, in terms of sentence structure.

(2) A lightbulb moment came about when I happened to see the word "symmetry" in a blog article, and so I was able to solve the math problem.
Umm, the point about a lightbulb moment is that it is instant. The light comes on. Whereas 'to come about' is very staid and pedestrian. It doesn't work, for me.

lazarius
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 10:41:35 AM

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There soon will be no light bulbs to draw moments from.

-
tautophile
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 11:00:55 AM
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Especially since the late 19th century, when electric lights began to become common, the idea of "sudden mental illumination or enlightenment" became associated with a lightbulb being switched on. Cartoonists and animators used this association frequently, as shown by the "Goofy" cartoon posted by DragOnspeaker.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 11:13:54 AM

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Yes, the energy saving lightbulb moment involves a dim recollection, a slow, gradual dawning on you - and an eventual acceptable dim glow. Whistle




Reiko07
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 1:13:48 PM

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Thanks, lazarius, tautophile, and thar.

It seems that aha moment is more common than lightbulb moment.

Ngram

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 1:22:47 PM

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Eureka!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 3:02:41 PM

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lazarius wrote:
There soon will be no light bulbs to draw moments from.-


"My LED moment . . ."
lazarius
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 11:24:48 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
"My LED moment . . ."

https://litebulbmoments.com/

Quote:
Unlimited Moments of Clarity

-
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 11:43:37 PM

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In the times of Archimedes there were no bulb lights or leds.
But he suddenly got a bright idea.
lazarius
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 1:57:34 AM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
In the times of Archimedes there were no bulb lights or leds.
But he suddenly got a bright idea.

The divine afflatus begat this epiphany in Archimedes.

-
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 6:31:56 AM

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AE: ...then the lightbulb came on..
Reiko07
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 3:23:07 PM

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Wilmar (USA) 1M wrote:
AE: ...then the lightbulb came on..

A lightbulb came on.

Can that sentence be used both literally and figuratively?
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