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Why does the word 'Second' have such diverse meanings?

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Why does the word 'Second' have such diverse meanings?

Old 12-19-07, 10:19 PM
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Why does the word 'Second' have such diverse meanings?

I 'Second' that. Yankees 'Second' Baseman Robinson Cano.

Can you wait just a 'second'?

Couldnt the English language think of another word for one of 'second's?
Old 12-19-07, 10:43 PM
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second (adj.)
"after first," 1297, from O.Fr. second, from L. secundus "following, next in order," from root of sequi "follow" (see sequel). Replaced native other (q.v.) in this sense because of the ambiguousness of the earlier word. Second-hand is from 1474; second-rate is from 1669, originally of ships (see rate); second sight is from 1616; an etymologically perverse term, since it means in reality the sight of events before, not after, they occur. Second fiddle first attested 1809.

second (n.)
"one-sixtieth of a minute," 1391, from O.Fr. seconde, from M.L. secunda, short for secunda pars minuta "second diminished part," the result of the second division of the hour by sixty (the first being the "prime minute," now called the minute), from L. secunda, fem. of secundus (see second (adj.)). Shortened form sec first recorded 1860.

second (v.)
"to further, to support," 1586, "to support or represent in a duel, fight, etc.," from M.Fr. seconder, from L. secundare "to assist, make favorable," from secundus "assisting, favorable, following, second" (see second (adj.)). the noun in this sense is first recorded 1590. The verb in the parliamentary sense is first recorded 1597.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=second

I would blame Latin.
Old 12-19-07, 11:04 PM
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That's not so bad. In the OED, the word "set" has 430 definitions.

Set the table. Set of tennis. Glue takes 10 minutes to set. Set something down.

It's a good thing. Limiting the words in English for convenience would be doubleplus ungood.
Old 12-19-07, 11:10 PM
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I'm sure someone can link to that audio piece about the word fuck.
Old 12-20-07, 01:44 AM
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While we're on the subject (sort of), I remember reading in a textbook that the word "buffalo" is the only word that you can make a complete and grammatically correct sentence of just using that one word.

Buffalo buffalo buffalo.

With the second "buffalo" being the definition which means "to push around".
Old 12-20-07, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
I'm sure someone can link to that audio piece about the word fuck.
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CqnvxP0H3lM&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CqnvxP0H3lM&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
Old 12-20-07, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Molotov
While we're on the subject (sort of), I remember reading in a textbook that the word "buffalo" is the only word that you can make a complete and grammatically correct sentence of just using that one word.

Buffalo buffalo buffalo.

With the second "buffalo" being the definition which means "to push around".
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

The Wikipedia article on that has a breakdown on how it's constructed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo...uffalo_buffalo
Old 12-20-07, 02:29 PM
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mole........the animal, the chemistry unit, an informant, a sauce (hahahah)

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