A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME

Stephen Hawking had a quite a good stab at this subject, but there were several omissions.  (He’ll be dead gutted you said that! LO,TG Ed)

He left out the derivations of certain words and the reasons why they are associated with time.

Decade.
When this was first introduced into the English language it was not a definite time span. It derives from deaf-aid. Great Uncle Albert was forever asking what the time was but was extremely hard of hearing, so never heard the answer. He repeated the question almost constantly for the last 8 years of his life – it seemed longer of course and was rounded up to describe 10 years.

Hour.
This was the time allocated to Peers of the Realm by the ladies of the knights. Sir William Malmesbury used to pop out after supper and say “I’ll be back after a whore.” Chinese whispers perverted this to ‘hour’ amongst his servants, who were all recruited from Sidcup BTW. The description of the beginning of time as the ‘Big Bang’ has no connection.

Seconds.
Derived from the same word as itself. Alfred Fairweather from Basingstoke, known locally as Fat Boy Slime because of the hovel he lived in, was an extremely greedy man – indeed his life ended with a rather dramatic explosion. As soon as food arrived on his plate he almost immediately demanded ‘seconds!’. This time span was measured by scientists in the 15th century, who discovered it fitted exactly 60 times into a minute/tiny whore, which in turn fitted 60 times into a full whore. The symmetry appealed to them and they adopted the word to describe that length of time. Obviously they also adopted the word minute.

I’m just going to re-read Stephen’s effort to check up on what else he missed.
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