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Thread: eternity??

  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I generally try to give philosophy a wide berth.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I generally try to give philosophy a wide berth.
    That does not sound like you. This sentence is a quote I cannot quite place. Are you pickpocketing? :wink: Philosophic approach allows you use and misuse and disuse - free reign of 26 letters.

  3. #13
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'm not quite sure of the context for your 'the truth is,is it' phrase,
    Then, what do you mean by "What eternity is, is it..."? Could you paraphrase it?

    -------(By the way)------------

    When I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    but my English-Japanese dictionary says when "eternity" means "the eternal truth", it has to be plural.
    you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Weird dictionary!
    .

    So I thought I was right in that "eternity" didn't have to be plural when it meant "the eternal truth".

    But now you say:

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    the original 'eternity'statement doesn't make sense unless there are a number of eternities.


    Doesn't "eternity" mean "the eternal truth"?

    What does it mean anyway??

  4. #14
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    Default Re: eternity??

    I fly to my book as the opium-smoker to his pipe. I would sooner read the catalogue of the Army and Navy Stores than nothing at all. (i.e. I'm addicted to reading, anything, everything, even an Army and Navy clothing catelogue!). At one time I never went out without a secondhand bookseller's list in my pocket (i.e. which is not the "required reading" for a scholar!). I know no reading more fruity. Of course to read in this way (according to 'great readers', not me) is as reprehensive as doping, and I never cease to wonder at the impertience of great readers who, becouse they are such (scholars), look down on the illiterate (i.e. the uneducated: non-readers and readers, specifically those who don't read the "required reading"). From the standpoint of what eternity is (i.e. No one knows if eternity really exists, so from that standpoint, eternity might be life after death or the very life we are living now), is it better to have read a thousand books than to have ploughed a million furrows? (i.e. There's a play on meaning here: 1) If life after death doesn't exist, then death makes us equal, literate and illiterate alike; It doesn't matter what you read or don't read now while you're living because you can't take it with you when you die; 2) Is it better to spend you life reading what's deemed "required" of and by a scholar or is it better to read whatever you can get your hands on? There's also a play on words, here. To have ploughed a million furrows carries a double meaning: 1) To work the land, and 2) To thumb your way through (i.e. plough) the pages (i.e. furrows) of books that aren't considered "required reading" for scholars)
    First of all, the structure is odd--ahem, the spelling becouse is also somewhat weird. It is a question, right? (If not, what's with the question mark?) Moreover, and most importantly, the main clause lacks a verb. What's with that? There should be a verb:

    From the standpoint of what eternity is, is it better to have a read a thousand books than to have ploughed a million furrows?

    Without the question mark, it still needs a main verb,

    From the standpoint of what eternity is, it is better to have a read a thousand books than to have ploughed a million furrows.

    Second, in this particular context eternity means, life after death, only if that exists, and if not, then, the life we lead now.

    All the best, :D

  5. #15
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: eternity??

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    First of all, the structure is odd
    I've found it's W. Somerset Maugham. Seems like a classic novelist:

    http://www.who2.com/wsomersetmaugham.html

    FYI, here is the original text:

    http://hometown.aol.com/argounova3/bookbag.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    [b](i.e. There's a play on meaning here: 1) If life after death doesn't exist, then death makes us equal, literate and illiterate alike; It doesn't matter what you read or don't read now while you're living because you can't take it with you when you die; 2) Is it better to spend you life reading what's deemed "required" of and by a scholar or is it better to read whatever you can get your hands on?

    After reading the original text, I think the whole context is about the contrast between "book-addicts" vs. "those who rarely read". So, it doesn't seem like #2 is implied.


    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    if not, then, the life we lead now.
    Life we lead now can be "eternity"

    As far as I'm concerned, my life doesn't seem like eternal.

  6. #16
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    OK, tdol. When you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Try 'what eternity is, is it...'
    I thought you meant "What eternity is, is it better to...?". But, as Cas says, you actually meant "From the standpoint of what eternity is, is it better to...? ". Now I understad that. And the word "eternity" there means, in that context, life after death. I understand that too.

    What I still don't understand is the definition of "eternity" itself. You said my dictionary is werid in that it says when "eternity" means "the eternal truth", it has to be plural". But later, you said "the original 'eternity'statement doesn't make sense unless there are a number of eternities (when it means "the truth")".

    So, does "eternity" mean "the eternal truth" only when it's plural? Or it doesn't matter whether it's singular or plural?

  7. #17
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    Default Re: eternity??

    There's a wonderful site online called Onelook.com. Check it out. :D It lists a ton of English dictonaries. 8)

    From one such dictionary, http://www.infoplease.com/dictionary...nforplease.com

    eternity
    n.,
    pl. -ties.
    1. infinite time; duration without beginning or end.
    2. eternal existence, esp. as contrasted with mortal life: the eternity of God.
    3. Theology. the timeless state into which the soul passes at a person's death.
    4. an endless or seemingly endless period of time: We had to wait an eternity for the check to arrive.
    5. eternities,the truths or realities of life and thought that are regarded as timeless or eternal.

    Note, definition 5. refers to enteral truths, and 4. refers to life as we lead it now:

    EX: Time spent doing something that doesn't appeal to you (i.e. reading 'books') can feel like an eternity, an endless period of time. :D

  8. #18
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: eternity??

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    There's a wonderful site online called Onelook.com.
    Thank you, Cas, but I know that site already.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Note, definition 5. refers to enteral truths,
    Yes, I've found that entry. And that makes me still wonder why tdol said "weird dictionary".

  9. #19
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    Default Re: eternity??

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Note, definition 5. refers to enteral truths,
    Yes, I've found that entry. And that makes me still wonder why tdol said "weird dictionary".

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    What does "eternity" mean there? IMO, it means "the eternal truth", but my English-Japanese dictionary says when "eternity" means "the eternal truth", it has to be plural.
    I have to agree with tdol's comment. I, too, thought the definition below was somewhat weird:

    EX: ...when eternity means the eternal truth it has to be plural.

    The reason being, the words 'eternity' and 'the eternal truth' are singular in number, moreover 'the eternal truth' expresses the one and only eternal truth, of which, by the way, there are more than one) and yet both words are defined as expressing something plural i.e., eternities, a word which wasn't stated at all in the definition, leading the reader think that 'eternity' has a plural meaning, when in fact it does not. That's the weird part. :( That is, eternity never means the eternal truth; it's eternities which means eternal truths.

    We need an -s. That would clear up the confusion:

    ...when eternity means the eternal truths, it has to be (written in the) plural i.e., eternities. :D

    All the best, :D

  10. #20
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: eternity??

    Ah! I see what the problem is.

    The problem is in my sentence I posted first as it's definition.

    I meant to say "when the word means "the eternal truth" it has to have the plural form."

    Sorry about the confusion. It's my fault.

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