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This is where yesterday follows tomorrow, departure follows arrival, front follows back, start follows end, past follows future and even life follows death.

What is it?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A bit of a consistency error helped me out: "This is where" turned to "what is it?" $\endgroup$ – Proxy Nov 3 '14 at 18:50
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A dictionary. The word 'yesterday' comes after 'tomorrow' in a dictionary. The word 'departure' comes after 'arrival' in a dictionary. And so on...

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Only an English-language dictionary, in general.

For bonus points, here are some other languages where this does not hold: denoting "follows" by '>' and "doesn't follow" by '>#' :

French: hier > demain, départ > arrivé, devant ># envers, début ># fin, passé > avenir, vie > mort

German: gestern ># morgen, Abfahrt ># Ankunft, Vorderseite > Rückseite, Anfang ># Ende, Vergangenheit ># Zukunft, Leben ># Tod/Sterben

Hence we could characterize any language with a 6-digit binary number (although the choice of words is in some cases subjective, as in whether 'front' vs 'back' refers to the human body or 'obverse'/'reverse' etc.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Can anyone please fix my spoiler tags?? $\endgroup$ – smci Nov 3 '14 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ I tried to, but it only broke them a bit further (and if my edit gets passed, you should reverse it). I think spoiler quotes might be one line only, or there's a bug. $\endgroup$ – doppelgreener Nov 4 '14 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ I've reported the bug on meta $\endgroup$ – doppelgreener Nov 4 '14 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your help with formatting guys. The short answer is >! can only be used for spoilers, not for anything else. So in my case I used ># to denote 'does not follow'. $\endgroup$ – smci Mar 17 at 0:44
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I would guess a dictionary. All the first words of those pairs are lexicographically after the second words.

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