[Ads-l] "fourth dimension"as "time", 1888 (not in OED)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Jan 5 19:41:13 UTC 2015


Good find -- clearer about being counted with L, B, and T as the 
fourth than is the 1885 use found in the OED.

(No, Larry -- time is not the mayo in the BLT.)

Joel

At 1/5/2015 02:10 PM, Mullins, Bill CIV (US) wrote:
>Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
>Caveats: NONE
>
>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
> >
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