Again, here you have a noun and one of the most significant nouns, which has notoriously led so many to go astray or to underestimate the full scope of this word.  Looking at the definition leads me to believe that this word is newer than most of us realise.  The post-fix and pre-fix are both popular and prevalent throughout a number of languages.

So the current meaning is as a noun, all existing matter and space considered as a whole.  Sometimes astronomers like to visualise the standard picture of the cosmic microwave background which comes fairly close in terms of representation to these ideas.  Alternatively it can be a particular sphere of activity, and in some ways older texts would superimpose the Earth as representing the universe, although that was probably certainly before Galileo.

In terms of the pre-fix the ‘uni’ would suggest a singular unit.  The post-fix would imply various stages, or different aspects of one viewpoint which is consistent with the sorts of things one can find in the universe such as galaxies, stars, planets and moons.  It may also be significant that the Latin translation of the post-fix, ‘versus’ relates to turning, winding or twisting, which is also consistent with an understanding of phenomena in the universe.

Copyright © 2016 Jason Romanenko