Under adjective, the following definition is given:
- 1. Occurring or happening within a short period of time.
- The party started promptly – all the guests arrived very fast after eight.
In that sentence, 'fast' is being used as an adverb, not an adjective. I haven't found it listed as an adverb in a dictionary. Should it be moved to an adverb section or simply deleted? Dmyersturnbull 00:11, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
- Move to adverb section. Clearly an adverb. —Stephen 06:44, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Are there really three etymologies? Is this the best partition of senses among whatever separate etymologies there truly are? The sense evolution distinctions in modern English are at least as important and worthy of an explanation as the common Old English origins. The PoS distinctions in the etymology don't seem especially important in this case. DCDuring TALK 12:08, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
- I did some.....oh. You saw. Ƿidsiþ 08:29, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
a fast boat
The first example of "fast" in the adjectival sense of "rapid" predates commercial whaling, but it may be interesting to note that a common term in the whale fishery was "a fast boat", meaning a boat whose harpoon was fastened to a whale, after which it would normally be pulled on a rapid "run" through the sea until it tired. These runs were noted as being particularly exhilarating, likened to a downhill sled, and the sense may have been transferred from the state of being fastened to the state of moving at great speed. (ref: Clifford W. Ashley, "The Yankee Whaler", 1926) --220.127.116.11 14:40, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
- As you acknowledge, the "rapid" meaning predates that particular industry's usage, but etymologists seem to think that some analogous transfer may account for the evolution of senses. I think some authority referred to usage like "The dog followed fast on the rabbit." I would love to see some definitive scholarly investigation of this, but sometimes such questions are unanswerable. DCDuring TALK 16:40, 12 December 2009 (UTC)