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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 5 15:17:23 UTC 2015


On Jan 5, 2015, at 9:54 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

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

Yes, but "googol" was part of the trajectory in the coinage (along with Barney Google and his goo-goo-googly eyes). And doesn't the "Googleplex" itself (the Mountain View HQ of Google) play off Gamow (or his nephew, as cited by him?)?  

Wikipedia says so, and they're never wrong:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googleplex
"Googleplex" is a portmanteau of _Google_ and _complex_ and a reference to _googolplex_, the name given to the large number 10(10(100)), or 10(googol) (with complex meaning a complex of buildings).

LH

> 
> Gamow's cartoons were cool too.
> 
> JL
> 
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 9:03 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> 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
>>>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>>> -----------------------
>>>>> 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 - =
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v1/url?u=3Dhttp://www.americandialect.or=
>> g/&k=3DdpQisR3avULHgiNaNeY%2Btg%3D%3D%0A&r=3DMW6Q85EuQFDFs0kj9ASwdaXohusE8=
>> 33r9bFEf66m5kA%3D%0A&m=3DBDhdUD7XsPc8zQeeQwJHSg6GNrjKCG41vFSCdQkeiDY%3D%0A=
>> &s=3De3cd2b0c80c49666b9042b17adc9ae757beebc8660223b531b6d15506353eb5a
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> =20
>>>>> =20
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> The American Dialect Society - =
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v1/url?u=3Dhttp://www.americandialect.or=
>> g/&k=3DdpQisR3avULHgiNaNeY%2Btg%3D%3D%0A&r=3DMW6Q85EuQFDFs0kj9ASwdaXohusE8=
>> 33r9bFEf66m5kA%3D%0A&m=3DBDhdUD7XsPc8zQeeQwJHSg6GNrjKCG41vFSCdQkeiDY%3D%0A=
>> &s=3De3cd2b0c80c49666b9042b17adc9ae757beebc8660223b531b6d15506353eb5a
>>>>> =20
>>>> =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
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - =
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v1/url?u=3Dhttp://www.americandialect.or=
>> g/&k=3DdpQisR3avULHgiNaNeY%2Btg%3D%3D%0A&r=3DMW6Q85EuQFDFs0kj9ASwdaXohusE8=
>> 33r9bFEf66m5kA%3D%0A&m=3DBDhdUD7XsPc8zQeeQwJHSg6GNrjKCG41vFSCdQkeiDY%3D%0A=
>> &s=3De3cd2b0c80c49666b9042b17adc9ae757beebc8660223b531b6d15506353eb5a
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v1/url?u=http://www.americandialect.org/&k=dpQisR3avULHgiNaNeY%2Btg%3D%3D%0A&r=MW6Q85EuQFDFs0kj9ASwdaXohusE833r9bFEf66m5kA%3D%0A&m=BtcBXKutg06uhekavn1Vy0jHdsSgbH%2FS9uBNJu7pq50%3D%0A&s=49843d2994fad4f4e7d4046ce3f723df8031324d2d40a85a0c55457c543b77e2
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v1/url?u=http://www.americandialect.org/&k=dpQisR3avULHgiNaNeY%2Btg%3D%3D%0A&r=MW6Q85EuQFDFs0kj9ASwdaXohusE833r9bFEf66m5kA%3D%0A&m=BtcBXKutg06uhekavn1Vy0jHdsSgbH%2FS9uBNJu7pq50%3D%0A&s=49843d2994fad4f4e7d4046ce3f723df8031324d2d40a85a0c55457c543b77e2

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list