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Hi,
does "from side to side" always imply a continuous movement? From left to right and back, continuously? Can't it just be used to mean "from left to right or vice versa, only one time"? As in this example:
I'll slash your throat from side to side.

Is that ok? I don't mean to say I'll continue to move the knife from left to right several times. Just one, but from the left, all the way to the right (or vice versa of course).

Thanks. Emotion: smile
Comments  
Hi,
I'd say it depends on the context, and may occasionally be ambiguous.

Clive
"from side to side" does not necessarily mean continuous movement. If you want to mean that, you will write something like "moving repeatedly from side to side".

Chris
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I see thanks. Emotion: smile
I agree with Clive.

As an expression it should imply continuous movement (My knife moved several times from one side to the other across your throat), whereas as not an expression it would just mean movement from one side to another. So it depends on context and could be ambigious.

I'd prefer to say "I'll slash your throat from one side to the other" because its less ambigious.
metal.carrattI'd prefer to say "I'll slash your throat from one side to the other"
Yup! That's what I'd say too for that meaning.

CJ
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The ambiguity exists because "from side to side" is a fixed expression, meaning "back and forth repeatedly." The classic throat cutter works from ear to ear.
Yes, I suspected that "from side to side" could only mean "repeatedly from side to side", because every advanced dictionary I looked in gave that explanation and always included "repeatedly". So now I understand that if I want to get rid of that implication, I have to use something else (from one side to the other, from ear to ear, etc.). Got it, thanks again! Emotion: smile