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

Mullins, Bill CIV (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Mon Jan 5 19:10:58 UTC 2015


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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Also possibly of interest:

H. G. Wells, "THE CHRONIC ARGONAUTS" from _The Science Schools Journal_ (1888) published by the Royal College of Science
"Has it never glimmered upon your consciousness that nothing stood between men and a geometry of four dimensions -- length, breadth, thickness, and duration -- but the inertia of opinion, the impulse from the Levantine philosophers of the bronze age?"

"When we take up this new light of a fourth dimension and reexamine our physical science in its illumination," continued Nebogipfel, after a pause, "we find ourselves no longer limited by hopeless restriction to a certain beat of time -- to our own generation."



> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Joel S. Berson
> Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2015 6:59 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: "fourth dimension" is not "time" to the OED?
> 
> ---------------------- 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?
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> 
> 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."
> 
> 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.)
> 
> Joel
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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