Re: [TERM] Re: Infinite universes

From: Perry E. Metzger (
Date: Fri Apr 25 2003 - 15:28:22 MDT

Gordon Worley <> writes:
> On Friday, April 25, 2003, at 11:37 AM, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> > What does that mean, exactly? I don't know how universes would
> > "interact" per se. If they could meaningfully interact, they wouldn't
> > be separate universes.
> (Nothing against you, Perry. This is a trend I've been seeing
> throughout this whole thread and it's pissing me off.)
> Universe doesn't have a plural form. There is just one (1) universe.

Well, not to get into a language meta-argument, but, "not any more".

Usage defines meaning -- if it didn't, we'd all be wrong about our
language because we're not speaking according to the grammar rules of
Old English (or whatever).

Although "Universe" used to mean "absolutely everything", now it
conventionally seems to mean something vaguely like "a space governed
by a particular set of physical laws such that all points are mutually
accessible in some manner" or something analogous, rather than
"absolutely everything". The physicists have been speaking of things
like "basement universes" etc. for long enough that as a term of art
they don't mean "absolutely everything" when they say "universe".

You might dislike that, but there isn't anything more to be done about
it as a practical matter than you can do about, say, the theft of the
word "liberal" by the left, which forced the old liberals to then
steal "libertarian" from the anarchosocialists...

Perry E. Metzger

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