Talk:second

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Translations need to be expanded to cover the various definitions.

The definitions for "unit of time" and "unit of angular measure" need to be separated, as they might have different translations in some languages. It is certainly the case that one has a synonym ("second of arc") while the other does not. -- Paul G 09:09, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I put them as 1.1. and 1.2. I also think in this kind of words there are many different meanings, translations should be put under separate meanings (not confusing numbering). Kill my modifications, if this is not a good style... -- Aulis Eskola
The current format is really confusing. I can't find the actual definitions for all the translations interspersed, among which there is a great deal of duplication. The usual form of tagging a definition with the number of its sense which is also done just below the noun senses is much more compact and less confusing. Unfortunately it makes it difficult to re-order senses, but that's a different issue -dmh 14:22, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The headings for the translation tables are incorrect. They should repeat the definition, not just be "Definition 1", etc. The point of the tables is to ensure that the translations are tied to their definitions, and this cannot be ensured when the headings are done as they have been done here. — Paul G 16:24, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I've made a start on sorting out the translation tables. The tables translations with headings "Definition 1", etc, need to be checked and moved to the tables with headings "one-sixtieth of a minute", etc. — Paul G 16:49, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That which comes between first and third. ("He lives on Second Street.")

Is this really a noun meaning? Andres 13:01, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Interesting. But it's not really an adjective or numerical meaning as "He lives on the second street on the right" would be. Since it's a name of a street I would call it a noun, but any old word can be a street noun and thus have a noun sense - but that doesn't mean every name of every street should be in a regular old dictionary... — Hippietrail 13:49, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Here are some cases of second being used on its own.
  1. I used to live on Second, near the corner of Second and Maple.
  2. (baseball) The runner is rounding second, heading for third.
  3. I ran the best race I could, but I only took second.
  4. First place was out of reach, but second was mine for the taking.
  5. I ran the best race I could, but I only came in second.
The first two look more like proper nouns, though you don't capitalize second base. The third and fourth look more like noun senses, especially the fourth. I'm not sure what to call the last one.
I'm not sure the given definition is very good for any of these, but I don't have a good substitute at the moment -dmh 14:22, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
-dmh 14:22, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
These further meanings could be added, along with appropriate translation tables, but it is difficult to see how these differ from "that following the first". If they are in sufficiently common usage to merit separate noun definitions, by all means add them. — Paul G 16:49, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

RFV discussion[edit]

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Rfv-sense. French, alternate. I don't get it. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:10, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

second often expresses this idea (sense 3 of alternate), but it's does not deserve a separate definition. Lmaltier 17:35, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
If your first option fails, you use an alternative one, the "second" one. But I agree, this seems like confusion. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:52, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I have removed the separate sense. — Beobach 02:58, 30 December 2010 (UTC)


/ˈsɛkənd/ vs. /ˈsɛkənt/[edit]

I cannot find citations, but I am certain that in my idiolect (midwestern US) second has a voiceless /t/ as the final element, not the voiced /d/. Though both consonants tend to be elided in that unstressed position after a nasal. I am suspicious of most of the audio samples I find, which seem to overenunciate the final consonant, as you could expect given spelling-consciousness. Does anyone concur, and more importantly, have a citation? — ˈzɪzɨvə 15:30, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, at least in the Midwest, /ˈsɛkənt/ is the normal pronunciation. I don’t know of a citation for it. That reminds me of our tendency to append a -t onto the end of once and twice. I don’t know the reason for it, but it has long been a spelling problem. In the Snuffy Smiff comics, they were spelt oncet, twicet. —Stephen (Talk) 15:08, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

RFV discussion (2)[edit]

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second

"Another chance to achieve what should have been done the first time, usually indicating success this time around. (See second-guess.)" Really? A noun? How would this be used? Equinox 01:25, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

I would think it would be used like this: "You didn't succeed on your first attempt, so I will give you a second". bd2412 T 18:26, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Lots of adjectives can be used this way. Do think usage such as in BD's example really cites this meaning or demonstrates the syntactic phenomenon of fusion with a superfluous second attempt? I certainly don't. If one had a sense for every such use we would have a very long PoS section indeed for second#Noun. DCDuring TALK 20:12, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm just trying to answer the question of how it would be used, not defending its correctness. However, I also think that a single definition would capture every use proceeding from an opportunity to repeat a thing done one time before. bd2412 T 20:20, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree with DC. BD's example is just ellipsis for second attempt. Woz2 (talk) 11:46, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
This is in widespread use, as BD suggests. It merits an RfD IMO. DCDuring TALK 18:21, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Passed as clearly widespread use, per consensus. Moving to RFD. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:17, 19 September 2013 (UTC)


RFD discussion: September 2013–April 2014[edit]

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second
Sense:
Another chance to achieve what should have been done the first time, usually indicating success this time around. (See second-guess.)

Per the RFV, this is simply “second chance/attempt” with ellipsis of chance/attempt. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:18, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Keep. See, e.g., 2003, Sheila Ryan Wallace, The Sea Captain and His Ladies, page 22:
The policeman smiled, his eyes twinkling. "Now if you'll follow me, I'll escort you to the Victoria."
"Oh, there's no need of that. If you'll just point me in the right direction..."
That's what got you in trouble the first time around. You don't need a second.
Note, there is no reference to a chance or an attempt, even though the word as used requires that it be a second opportunity to do something. bd2412 T 18:30, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
It could be an ellipsis of time (around), but you’re probably right. Did you find any other? — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:44, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Here's another: 2009, Paulette Jiles, Stormy Weather, page 37:
Smoky Joe ran against a Houston horse named Cherokee Chief.
“Don't hit him,” Jeanine said to the jockey. “Maybe once. But you don't get a second.”
Cheers! bd2412 T 19:14, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
About the first citation, the only place one would have to look for the what to be understood after second is after first. It's hard to imagine a more straightforward case. The second one isn't much more mysterious, except for the enallage between once/first and second/twice. (I've long looked for a chance to use the word.) DCDuring TALK 19:34, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Shall we delete the sense of "physician" at doctor, then, since it is generally deducible from the context that it is just an ellipsed form of "doctor of medicine"? bd2412 T 20:04, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
They are orders of magnitude apart in terms of conventionalization, which is why this sense of second is not to be found in other dictionaries. Actually, to me it seems not all conventional, just a matter of find-the-reference. DCDuring TALK 20:12, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
I understand the argument - basically, it is that "second" in these sentences is like "slow" in "Bob got a fast car, and Joe got a slow", or "sturdy" in "Bob built a shaky house, Joe built a sturdy"; but I think that it is far more common and grammatically acceptable to use "second" here than to use other adjectives, to the point that it no longer feels like an adjective. bd2412 T 15:32, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
The 'feeling' rationale would be better if we had a systematic way of polling such feelings, presumably among a variety of native speakers who understood what we were asking. The particular examples (sturdy, slow) that you selected don't really work: most speakers would probably insist on adding one or ones. Maybe there are some sensible tests that would get at where a given adjective sense fit on an evolution toward being a full noun sense. The existence of plurals is a strong indication, which we use for English -ing forms, though it doesn't help if the sense is uncountable. Absence of an anaphoric referent is pretty strong, but can require reading paragraphs of preceding text. Checking for use with one/ones requires reading for sense in citations. COCA/BNC at the BYU site makes this easier.
The effort required to find evidence is what sends us to different heuristics: me to lemmings, you to feelings. Maybe I can find something in CGEL that can help. DCDuring TALK 16:14, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps this is because "second" already existed as a noun for other purposes before it was used this way. With respect to the sturdy and slow examples, it would likely be a bit different if the sentence were, "Bob got a blue car, and Joe got a red", because "red" is already a noun on its own. Whether it is wrong or not, it doesn't feel as wrong as "Joe got a slow" or "Joe got a sturdy". The fact that some feel more wrong than others is borne out by the existence of actual uses, i.e. the rather straightforward:
  • 2011, Karen Miller, The Innocent Mage:
    I'll have one chance to show them that's no longer true. One chance ... and if I stumble, I'll not get a second.
As for pluralization, see:
  • 1969, Peg Bracken, I didn't come here to argue, (link not available) page 43:
    So perhaps some of us flog ourselves unnecessarily when we're actually using every decent brain cell we own. Now, it's apparently true that 100,000 brain cells die every day, and, unlike teeth, you don't get seconds.
  • 1983, Joanna Jordan, Never Say Farewell, page 243:
    "I've already had my turn," Margaret said, "and with Grant you don't get seconds."
  • 2007, James Atticus Bowden, Rosetta 6.2, page 231:
    We don't get seconds and thirds at this. It has to happen now.
Cheers! bd2412 T 18:17, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I think you've actually cited a plural-only (or perhaps plural only) sense seconds; the citations for 'second' seem like ellipsis and not a separate sense (not different to third, fourth, fifth, sixth), while your citations for seconds seem to back up a sense I haven't heard of before of seconds. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:08, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I suspect that the "food" seconds is derived from an elliptical of "second helpings", as applied to multiple people wanting such helpings (i.e. "I had a first helping, and would like a second" -> "we had first helpings, and would like seconds"). As for the plural examples above, all of them could be reworded in the singular ("for each brain cell that dies, you don't get a second"; "with Grant you don't get a second"; "we don't get a second or a third at this"). Incidentally, in the course of searching for the origin of the food-related term, I found a large number of late 1800s/early 1900s hits for another sense, that of goods of secondary quality (as in "our seconds are as good as other sellers' best products"). bd2412 T 14:26, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Keep. The citations (especially the second one BD posted) show, IMO, that this has transcended elliptical usage. — Ungoliant (Falai) 11:52, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
The "items of second quality; items with minor, often cosmetic, defects" sense is still in use, as is the "second helpings" sense, of course. As the other plural uses not clearly in these senses are relatively scarce, it could be argued that even other plural nominal senses are simply metaphorical appropriations of those senses.
I find it silly to be straining to imagine new and relatively rare senses when our entries neglect so many relatively common senses that emerged in the 20th century. DCDuring TALK 16:18, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
We have a definition for this sense of seconds, but it only relates to clothes; I saw cites for potatoes and dishes. I would guess that it also originated from an ellipsed form of a second something. bd2412 T 16:46, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Any objection to closing this one? I do not see any reasonable possibility of a consensus forming. bd2412 T 13:44, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Kept, no consensus to delete. bd2412 T 20:36, 24 April 2014 (UTC)