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University

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University

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:59 pm

• university •


Pronunciation: yu-nê-vêr-sê-ti • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. An institution of postsecondary (after high school) education comprising more than one college or schools, such as a college of business and a college of arts and sciences, possibly including a medical school, law school, school of nursing. 2. The physical buildings of such an institution or the community of scholars living and working in them.

Notes: Today's Good Word has no adjectival or adverbial forms; just remember to change the Y to I in forming the plural: universities. Although this was not the intent of those who coined the terms over the centuries, universities are today societies of scholars who study everything known about the universe, so the root of this word continues to be semantically appropriate.

In Play: Universities are seats of learning, but the lessons learned in the 1960s led to action in universities in the US and elsewhere: "Antiwar activities in universities around the world encouraged the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam." Although a university education leads to higher lifetime income, many qualified students still look for their education elsewhere: "Milo Wage's only university was, as he puts it, the school of hard knocks."

Word History: Today's word is a Middle English adaptation of French université, derived from Medieval Latin universitas "society, community". Its current use resulted from a shortening of the original phrase, universitas magistrorum et scholarium "community of masters and scholars". Universitas is a noun based on universus "whole", a compound of unus "one" + versus, the past participle of vertere "to turn". English borrowed tons of words with Latin root vert-, including introvert, pervert, convert, and divert—all referring to turning or twisting. The root behind vert- came to English via its Germanic ancestry in a series of words beginning with wr-, including wring, writhe, and wrong. (I am sure we are universally grateful to the lexically lively Richard Lively for suggesting today's Good Word.)
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Re: University

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:28 pm

For years I thought college and university were synonymous and interchangeable. Later I found that, while they can be used synonymously, more exactly a university is made up of colleges. Doc describes it well in meaning 1.
Last edited by Perry Lassiter on Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: University

Postby MTC » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:59 pm

"Dog" as in "Yo dog!" Perry? Here we're all members of the pack.

I found particularly interesting the origin of "universe" from the compound "unus" (one) + "versus" (turn.) This combination meant "whole" in the sense of "turn into one," I gather. But what was "turned into" one, and who or what "turned" it? What was "it" before it was "turned?" Does the etymology of the word "universe" reflect Roman cosmology?

Further research online:

The word Universe derives from the Old French word Univers, which in turn derives from the Latin word universum.[25] The Latin word was used by Cicero and later Latin authors in many of the same senses as the modern English word is used.[26] The Latin word derives from the poetic contraction Unvorsum — first used by Lucretius in Book IV (line 262) of his De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) — which connects un, uni (the combining form of unus, or "one") with vorsum, versum (a noun made from the perfect passive participle of vertere, meaning "something rotated, rolled, changed").[26]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe

Despite what Wikipedia states, the searchable online text of On The Nature of a Things reveals Lucretius used "universe" a number of times before Book IV.

http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?op ... search.php

Fascinating book which without technology, solely through reasoning from facts anticipates the modern scientific world view.

But now I see that answering the questions I posed at the outset will take time and further research into the Pre-Socratic Philosophers.
Last edited by MTC on Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: University

Postby Slava » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:00 pm

A note from Russian, you can't say school when you mean college or university. School (shkola) means K-12.

In English we do make a slight distinction, in the title of the person doing the instruction. The latter are teachers, the former are professors.

Edited to amswer the question in the next post.
Last edited by Slava on Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: University

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:00 pm

Are you saying there are no college professors? Or merely that in K through 12 they are only teachers.
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