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Literary FlavorPlay
Used mostly in story-telling or historical narratives for a nostalgic or romanticized tone. SlideIn the olden times, knights would embark on astounding voyages.
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Implies AntiquityPlay
Suggests that the time period referred to is not just old but has an element of ancientness to it. SlideThe castle ruins were a window into olden times.
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Emotional ConnotationPlay
Can evoke a sense of wonder, mystery or longing for the past. SlideHe reminisced about the olden days and the joys they held.