Thursday, June 22, 2006

'Time' is the top noun

Ask OxfordAssociated Press (London) reported yesterday, "for those who think that society is obsessed with time the Concise Oxford English dictionary added support to the theory Thursday in announcing that the word is the most commonly used noun in the English language."

"On the list of the top 25 nouns, time is followed by other indicators of the movement of the clock: 'year' is in third place, then 'day' at No. 5 and 'week' at No. 17."

Every one knows time, everyone seems to understand what time is, but actually not many of us know its true meaning. This is probably why time has so many definitions, by different people from different points of view.

Microsoft Encarta Dictionary gives the following related words for noun 'time':

* period, while, spell, stretch, stint, interval, phase, stage
* occasion, instance, moment, point, instant, minute, hour, point in time, moment in time
* era, age, epoch, period, season, generation
* tempo, measure, rhythm, beat, speed, pace


You can see, no any above words can be used to completely replace 'time'. Exactly speaking, there is no synonym for time. The word 'time' is so unique but general and meaningful. I think this was another reason why it became the top noun, not only for its essential relationship with people's life.

Moreover, "'the' is the most popular word overall, followed by be, to, of, and, a, in, that, have and I." This is just the reason why Google ignores these words in search keywords by default, except you put them in quotation marks or they are the only keywords.

"The list of top 25 nouns: time, person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life, hand, part, child, eye, woman, place, work, week, case, point, government, company, number, group, problem, fact."

In fact, the list just seems to unveil the attitudes of how most people live, including what and how they do, what and how they think, and what they focus on, doesn't it? :-)

The news source: English dictionary: 'Time' is top noun in English language

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