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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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not so fast | 244 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
not so fast
Authored by: IANALitj on Thursday, May 23 2013 @ 08:46 PM EDT
The word fast means both stationary and moving quickly. Both meanings come from
the same source, as usage has changed over time.

The origins are in Old English, with various cognates in other ancient
languages. The word meant fixed in place. We have the same concept in the
familiar modern verb fasten. But the word fast also retains its old meaning, as
in the phrases hold fast and stand fast.

The meanings progressed, from the meaning of fixed in place, to held with a firm
grip, to close proximity in space or time. From this idea of proximity in time,
the word took on the meaning "immediately" or in quick succession.
From there, it was a small step to quickly, and another small step to rapidly.
A fast racehorse is anything but stationary.

There are a number of English words that have opposite senses of different
origins (e.g. cleave: to stick closely together or to split apart). Not so the
opposite meanings of fast.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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