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Old 03-05-2016, 07:06 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 12,252
Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
But the universe means literally the thing there is only one of. So by definition if there is more than one of it, it's not a universe. That's why the term multiverse originally coined, to describe these other things that look like universes, but aren't (as there are more than one of them, that collectively make up the universe). But over time the term was use incorrectly (to describe the collective thing, not the individual facets) and that incorrect use stuck.

Can't find a cite, or remember who the scientist was who coined the term, but I believe it's covered in one of the popular books on the subject (Maybe In Search of the Multiverse ?)
I was going to ask for a cite, but then I realized I don't have a cite for my description, either.

Yes, universe originally meant "the whole".

The term "multiverse" was actually coined in 1895 by William James. However, he was using it in a different context.

Anyway, I agree that it seems odd to use the term for "everything" and then say that that is really only a part of stuff, and there are multiple everythings. But that's the nature of language. We create a term that means something, then we change our understanding, but keep the term even though the new usage isn't quite "right".

For instance, that pocket computer/camera/texting device that everyone carries around is called a "phone", even though talking on it is often one of it's lowest use features.