Alan is cooking when someone knocks on the door. He then asks his girlfriend Betty to take care of the cooking and goes answer the door himself. After quite a while, he doesn't come back to kitchen. Betty, actually a specter, can't cook, and worries about overcooking the dish. Then she says,

What is taking so long, Alan?

Is the use of 'what is taking so long' natural here?

  • 2
    "Betty, actually a specter" - Betty is a ghost?
    – stangdon
    Jan 17, 2023 at 12:19
  • 1
    Yes, that explains why she sucks at cooking.
    – Michael
    Jan 17, 2023 at 12:22
  • @Michael Lol but Betty is simultaneously good at cooking because vacuous truth?
    – BCLC
    Jan 17, 2023 at 12:49
  • @Michael OK. I ask because specter is a rather uncommon word to mean "ghost" in modern English.
    – stangdon
    Jan 17, 2023 at 14:57
  • @stangdon Thanks for the info! The story is meant to be about some ancient fairy tale.
    – Michael
    Jan 17, 2023 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Sure. This is because Alan 'doesn't come back to kitchen' 'after quite a while' and then Betty wonders about it.

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