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John Cowan

To me, at least, a short journey is something of a contradiction in terms, or at any rate the use of a fairly significant (or pompous) word for a small matter, like using demolish for knocking down a house of cards. Etymologically, of course, a journey would be a day's traveling < L. diurnum. For me, the word for a short event of traveling, even without returning, is trip: "a ten-minute bus trip" more likely refers to how long it takes to get somewhere, not including the time I spend there, much less returning.

M-w.com and AHD5 agree with me, so this may be another BrE/AmE distinction. Etymonline says trip is first recorded as 'a short journey' in the 15C, so AmE may be conservative here.

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