English Vocabulary


"Mean Streets"

is there a link between mean and meantime???

11 comments

  • The word 'mean' and 'means' in the plural have so many 'meanings', as noun, adjective, verb and adverb as well, that it could take pages to talk about it.


    As you probably know, in the film title "Mean streets", the adj.'mean' means 'of poor status' like in
    - a mean quarter of the city
    - mean slums


    Meantime in one single word:
    as a noun: an interval of time
    as an adverb = meanwhile
    It seems to me obvious that here the etymology uses mean as meaning 'intermediate', having a middle position between two points.


    How does that grab you?
  • ...and the mean can also be the average value...
  • Hi Witty Spirit.


    We are so blessed that a maths geek comes to enlighten our mean minds. As ghost of Icarus you are not mean in providing knowledge. So I'd like to ask you two questions.


    1. You told the noun mean also meant average value. May the adjective mean be applied to time with the same meaning? Ex.: The mean time to perform a task (?)


    2. What do you think about the drop of the GMT in favour of UTC? Anyway the Earth doesn't care about it and will keep rotating with very slight differences in speed for some thousands of years ahead.


    Thanks in advance for answering.
    Joe
  • Ok Joe, I'll answer to your questions, but would you please notice first these two statements :
    - I am a Spirit, an e-spirit and like an e-mail, I can travel through the world at an email speed
    - I am the Spirit of Icarus Archibald Quincy and I approve and respect all Icarus' skills as described by the GG Group. I usually stay on his desk computer in San Francisco and we have a full symbiotic life during the working hours.
    Question one : web dictionnaries say "YES", it does.
    Question two : I would have prefered the Pacific Standard Time.
    Best Regards - The Spirit of Icarus Archibald Quincy
  • That must bring good luck to be a holy e-Spirit, dear Being. So you are as lucky on Icarus' computer as when flying at an e-mail speed, so not so much slower than lightspeed.
    I am very grateful for getting answers from You.


    Qu.1 From now on I'll be able to calculate the mean time I spend asking a question.


    Qu.2 I am a bit rocketed as you say preferring the PST. Of course, spending a lot of time in LA on Icarus' computer, you are using the local time. But I thought that a Spirit of your kind would have shown broad-mindedness rather than a mean-mindedness in seeing time only as it is running in one's own area. So more so that you travel through the world and are brought to use the Coordinated Universal Time.


    Anyway, dear Spirit, I thank you for your spirited answer.
    Joe
  • From Joe the screwball:
    The word 'mean' and 'means' in the plural have so many 'meanings', as noun, adjective, verb and adverb as well, that it could take pages to talk about it.


    As you probably know, in the film title "Mean streets", the adj.'mean' means 'of poor status' like in
    - a mean quarter of the city
    - mean slums


    Meantime in one single word:
    as a noun: an interval of time
    as an adverb = meanwhile
    It seems to me obvious that here the etymology uses mean as meaning 'intermediate', having a middle position between two points.


    How does that grab you?

     




    Thank you... And glad to have provided a new subject for a battle of words with Icarus (?).
    Anyway I thought that "mean" in "Mean streets" meant dangerous or violent & not only "of poor status", so I didn't get the link with "average" "middle", easily enclosed in meantime??
    Thanks again
  • I am delighted to get your opinion.
    Any word or expression in one mind always has a different echo in another mind.


    I also think that a mean slum or mean district in a city is likely to get dangerous. The word 'mean' doesn't at first mean 'dangerous or violent', it's secondarily that it leads to the idea of violence in "mean streets".


    For "In the meantime", French say "entre-temps", i.e. during the time running between two points in time. Nothing to do with "average" here, but has to do with middle (in the middle of a lapse of time).
  • The Spirit of IAhQ is absolutely right. That's a good supplementary comment. "Mean value" or "mean" is an establishment term in mathematics, denoting the "average value" of an accumulation of values, either "arithmetic" or "geometric". When you study maths, physics or engineering, you are more frequently confronted with the term "mean" than with "average". Maths books and lecturing professors use it rather than "average".
  • The 'Spirit of AhQ' is absolutely right. That's a good supplementary comment. "Mean value" or "mean" is an established term in mathematics, denoting the "average value" of an accumulation of values, either arithmetic" or "geometric". When you study maths, physics or engineering, you are more frequently confronted with the term "mean" than with "average". Maths books and lecturing professors use it rather than "average".

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