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#9281 - 10/31/00 02:58 PM Re: Latin derivation
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Well, not knowing latin, i am a just guessing, but we (at least the North American we) use road to not only mean the macadam, but the process of getting there (The Road to Rio, Morocco, or any of the other Road movies of the 40's) and bouncing around the tips of my fingers, Charles Karault's (sp?) "On the Road.."

So might not Via have more than one meaning? could not via also mean the process of getting there... of being on the road? or is this just a good intentioned post on the road to hell?

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#9282 - 10/31/00 03:10 PM Re: Latin derivation
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
I am not sure whether this belongs here, or in the mangled maths thread, but "quantum" seems to be a Latin word that has both moved beyond its original Latin meaning, and gets seriously mangled in everyday use. Given that its accepted definition in physics is something like:
"1.The smallest amount of a physical quantity that can exist independently, especially a discrete quantity of electromagnetic radiation.
2. This amount of energy regarded as a unit. "

I am always amused when I hear of a quantum leap being made in some field of human endeavour

Even in a more general definition:
"1.A quantity or an amount.
2. A specified portion.
3. Something that can be counted or measured."

it appears to fit the description of a purely Latin word (one that would be recognised as such by a native Latin speaker) which has moved beyond its Latin meaning.



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#9283 - 10/31/00 03:12 PM Re: Latin derivation
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Helen

I suspect you and I are saying much the same thing. But we will need to wait for our resident Latinists to see whether or not our interpetation of the extended meaning of 'via' is correct...

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#9284 - 10/31/00 03:51 PM Re: Latin derivation
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
Centurion, certainly.
>is this word used at all except in a historical context?


I've heard it used for a job role, of all things - the idea being that it represented somebody who was responsible for 100 people. Naturally these centurions were never ever responsible for exactly 100 people (and, of course, an original centurion was one of 100 anyway).

However, that's the only occasion I've heard the word used outside a Roman context. Other than on Battlestar Galactica





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#9285 - 10/31/00 04:04 PM Re: Latin derivation
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
I am always amused when I hear of a quantum leap being made in some field of human endeavour

Ah. Max, but but but -
Isn't "quantum" as it is (probably mis-)used now all about the discrete aspect rather than the smallest possible aspect?

i.e. a quantum leap represents when something or someone jumps from one discrete state to another, or makes a significant transition.

"Never mind the quality, feel the width" !


You're almost definitely correct about the extended meaning, though.



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#9286 - 10/31/00 04:18 PM Re: Latin derivation
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
'decimate'

Damn (sorry, Dagnabbit) I was going to pick that one! And I could have got away with YARTing a bit better, perhaps.
What's striking is that this is a very clear abuse of the original meaning, which was very exact. In fact, so exact as to make the word pretty much useless for modern purposes.

Oh go on then, tsuwm - give us a reference to the original!
As follows:
<url>wordsmith.org/Board=???&Number=???</url>
replacing <with [,>with ] and ??? with appropriate Board name and Post Number.

Yes, OK, I'll get detailed instructions together.... very soon now..




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#9287 - 10/31/00 04:24 PM Re: Latin derivation
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
In reply to:


Ah. Max, but but but -
Isn't "quantum" as it is (probably mis-)used now all about the discrete aspect rather than the smallest possible aspect?

i.e. a quantum leap represents when something or someone jumps from one discrete state to another, or makes a significant transition.

"Never mind the quality, feel the width" !


You are probably right - I suppose I was guilty of hawking my view without a planck to stand on. Despite my uncertainty, as a matter of principle, I still feel that I was relatively correct, as the implication in media usage seems to be not merely "discrete" but "large". From this observer's standpoint the word "quantum" appears to shifted, at least in common usage, from "discrete, and , most often, very small" to "discrete, and huge" - a shift of many, many, many orders of magnitude, that has really let the cat out of the box.


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#9288 - 10/31/00 04:44 PM Re: Latin derivation
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981

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#9289 - 10/31/00 04:51 PM Re: Latin derivation
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
jo, thanks for the link; unfortunately (a) it's the long form [drat] and (b) it's one of those threads that warps off into oblivion [double-darn-drat]...


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#9290 - 10/31/00 07:16 PM Re: Latin derivation
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
Max, my hat is totally, completely and utterly doffed!

Awesome!!!







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