[Ads-l] "fourth dimension" is not "time" to the OED?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 5 14:54:58 UTC 2015


You mean "googol."  Not to mention "googolplex."

Gamow's cartoons were cool too.

JL

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 9:03 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "fourth dimension" is not "time" to the OED?
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> On Jan 5, 2015, at 6:50 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>
> > The "fourth dimension" as 'time' was so familiar to TV viewers by late =
> 1959
> > that Rod Serling had to insist there was a fifth one.
> >=20
> > Physicist George Gamow's popular book _One, Two, Three, Infinity_ =
> (1947)
> > explained it to me at just about the same time.
> >=20
> > JL
>
> Ah, _One, Two, Three, Infinity_.  A wonderful pop science book, and it =
> made the world safe for "google".
>
> LH
> >=20
> > On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 6:48 AM, Jonathan Lighter =
> <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >=20
> >> The "fourth dimension" as "time" was so familiar to TV viewers by =
> late
> >> 1959 that Rod Serling had to insist there was a fifth one.
> >>=20
> >> JL
> >>=20
> >> On Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 7:56 PM, Jeff Prucher <
> >> 000000b93183dc86-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:
> >>=20
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> >>> -----------------------
> >>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >>> Poster:       Jeff Prucher <jprucher at YAHOO.COM>
> >>>=20
> >>> Subject:      Re: "fourth dimension" is not "time" to the OED?
> >>>=20
> >>> =
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -----
> >>>=20
> >>> The OED's definition for "fourth" states that it has not yet been =
> fully
> >>> updated since 1897; the "fourth dimension" part looks like it was =
> added in
> >>> OED2, and presumably therefore dates from the Burchfield supplements
> >>> (1972-86). I don't know why Burchfield omitted the "time" aspect, =
> though.
> >>> Possibly it wasn't well-established at that time, or not enough for =
> the
> >>> editors to think it meritted a separate entry, or it was established =
> but
> >>> they didn't have many citations for it. (I'd vote for the third, but =
> that's
> >>> just a guess -- I'm pretty sure fourth dimension=3Dtime was pretty =
> common in
> >>> SF by that time.)
> >>>=20
> >>> Jeff Prucher
> >>>=20
> >>>=20
> >>>=20
> >>>=20
> >>> On Saturday, January 3, 2015 5:03 PM, Joel S. Berson =
> <Berson at ATT.NET>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>=20
> >>>=20
> >>>>=20
> >>>>=20
> >>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >>> -----------------------
> >>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >>>> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> >>>> Subject:      "fourth dimension" is not "time" to the OED?
> >>>=20
> >>>> =
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -----
> >>>>=20
> >>>> Why does the OED's definition of "fourth dimension (under "fourth")
> >>>> not include "time"?  The definition there is merely "a supposed or
> >>>> assumed dimension, additional to length, breadth, and thickness =
> (see
> >>>> dimension n. 3 note)."  And in the note, the only mention of =
> anything
> >>>> beyond L, B, and T is "Modern mathematicians have speculated as to
> >>>> the possibility of more than three dimensions of space."
> >>>>=20
> >>>> Searching for quotations including "fourth dimension", the earliest
> >>>> referring to time is perhaps "1885   Nature 26 Mar. 481/1   Since
> >>>> this fourth dimension cannot be introduced into space, as commonly
> >>>> understood, we require a new kind of space for its existence, which
> >>>> we may call time-space."  (Well's "The Time Machine" is 1895.)
> >>>>=20
> >>>> Joel
> >>>>=20
> >>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>> The American Dialect Society - =
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> >>>>=20
> >>>>=20
> >>>=20
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> >>=20
> >>=20
> >>=20
> >> --
> >> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the =
> truth."
> >>=20
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> > --=20
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the =
> truth."
> >=20
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