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SECOND Life or Second LIFE?


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This might seem like a little thing, but I wonder about it sometimes.

Some people call this world/game/product/thing we use/are in "SECOND Life" -- with the stress on the first word. And others (like me) call it "Second LIFE" -- with the stress on the second word.

I remember the first time I found out that there even existed people who called it SECOND Life was when there was a meet-up in real-life with Philip Linden, the founder of SL, and other Lindens, and users. And I heard Philip refer to his invention as "SECOND Life" and I was surprised. I then found a range of other people with SECOND Life and Second LIFE, and it wasn't just the region of their American or European accent in English, but maybe that's it. I haven't studied it scientifically.

Now, you *could* say that people who called it "SECOND Life" are more firmly planted in "First Life" or "Real Life" and therefore stress its secondary nature.

And that people who say Second LIFE "have no life" or for them, SL is "more important" or even "more real" than First Life.

But I refuse to accept that as I myself have always had a very full real life, with more than full-time jobs, family, friends and interests unrelated to SL. My closest friends and relatives have nothing to do with SL and either never heard of it or had zero interest in it. But I don't view SL as some kind of "it stays in Las Vegas" thing as I have tied my RL and SL identities and I also feel my avatar is merely a continuation or "aspect" of myself online. Not that mysterious.

Why would I say "FIRST Life" but "Second LIFE"? For one, they are different of course, even if related. I really don't know why I fall down with the emphasis on LIFE (or others do). Especially because the whole thing is a bound phrase for me "SecondLIFE". And maybe that's it. I don't think of "First Life" and "Second Life" as appositive "things"; I think of "SecondLIFE" as a thing, a place, some kind of alternate zone, and a *bound phrase*. Indeed, the SecondLIFE pronunciation may merely be a function of conceiving of the term as a bound phrase.  "First Life" isn't a bound phrase, any more than "Real Life" is. "RL" is a kind of linguistic artifact of people needing to refer to that thing out there that makes them go AFK.

In any event, I wonder if any one else has reflected on this. I really do think Philip conceived of himself of making a virtual reality, a metaverse, a thing apart from the planet that he thought would become ubiquitous and a necessity like the Internet itself. A stage of the Internet, if you will. And so maybe that's why he put the stress on the first syllable, but we'd have to ask him.

For me, as real as it is, or whatever versimilitude it has, SL is in the end a kind of chimera. It's eminently unsupported and destructable, like a dandelion fluff. In some ways it is more permanent than RL tends to be; if you put a building down on a sim, it will stay there 10 years unless you move it, whereas the same often can't be said of RL. But it isn't a necessity, a utility. I would be very sad if it disappeared, but not despondent. The time I spent in it would fill up with Twitter or blogs or movies or perhaps making Victorian-like shoe-boxes of little scenes, which is the most fun for me in SL. 

Many people who think of themselves as "in Second Life" are really only on Sluniverse or Plurk or Twitter. Or on a sim never budging from one chair, IMing their friends, only shopping occasionally. How much of a Second LIFE can they really be said to be having?

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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2 hours ago, eighthdwarf Checchinato said:

by me, from 2009:

2 follows 1

 

Re: "It has the wrong name". That point has been made over the years.

You sense that this brand name may not have been the best when you Google it, and you get a bunch of headlines of stories about car crashes and murderers with phrases like "A Second Life Taken".

 

But now they have a chance to fix that with Sansar, I guess.

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I'll play along Prok, because SL on my new computer refuses to see the .dae files I wanted to upload and test and I can't figure out what's wrong :(

It's probably 'secondlife' in my head, all one word, no real emphasis. It's something I do, as and when my disabilities allow. Maybe that shapes my view of SL. I can't be inworld enough for it to be immersive and it's less passive than other things I engage with. It's part of my slow, quiet life.

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There's a phenomenon in (English) language evolution in which the stress shifts backwards in an adjective-noun pair as their compound use becomes common. If "Second Life" survives long enough and (however unlikely) becomes part of the vernacular, we might expect it to eventually be pronounced "SECOND-life."

This effect is illustrated with archival audio from movies and radio in a Slate "Lexicon Valley" podcast from about a year ago. Perhaps start at 7:20 with a William Holden clip from the 1950 movie, Sunset Boulevard.

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Ok by the end of the post I was totally confused but I want some of whatever it is you are on.

Are you one of those who comes around saying you need someone to answer some questions for your college coursework?

I say Second Life or SL because words should be capitalised sometimes but block caps is shouty.

I think I drank too much Monster.

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1 hour ago, Saz Ninetails said:

Are you one of those who comes around saying you need someone to answer some questions for your college coursework?

Oh no, not at all.  Prok is an anchor of SL Forum culture by now and I mean that sincerely.  He has been here coming up on 13 years and as far as I know has never taken an extended break like many of us have.  (More than) a bit of a conspiracy theorist, sometimes thoughtful and always honest about his thoughts and opinions. There is some sort of fatuous rivalry between Prok and Phil that goes beyond eye-rolling diatribes but they are both good people despite that.

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5 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

There's a phenomenon in (English) language evolution in which the stress shifts backwards in an adjective-noun pair as their compound use becomes common. If "Second Life" survives long enough and (however unlikely) becomes part of the vernacular, we might expect it to eventually be pronounced "SECOND-life."

This effect is illustrated with archival audio from movies and radio in a Slate "Lexicon Valley" podcast from about a year ago. Perhaps start at 7:20 with a William Holden clip from the 1950 movie, Sunset Boulevard.

I don't know if this is in fact a rule (although I see this is a linguist on this podcast so he's likely right, I vaguely remember this from linguistics class) or how you know that it is (just from this podcast?), but then, what I'm trying to find out is if most people ALREADY say SECOND Life, with the stress on the first word in the "compound". If the Lindens said this from the start, they may have set the standard -- but for those who could hear their voices. Most of us couldn't until they put in voice, or until we went to a meet-up.

There's also the phenomenon of Americans imitating British English and I think they call this "Transatlantic English" and that may affect something like movies.

The problem with the backshift theory isn't just the "hairs out of place" he mentions. But many compound words that start out with stress on the first syllable. For example, when flash cards first became big in schools and tutorials, we didn't say flash CARDS, but always said FLASH cards. We never said back PACK but always said BACK pack. And so on.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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3 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

Oh no, not at all.  Prok is an anchor of SL Forum culture by now and I mean that sincerely.  He has been here coming up on 13 years and as far as I know has never taken an extended break like many of us have.  (More than) a bit of a conspiracy theorist, sometimes thoughtful and always honest about his thoughts and opinions. There is some sort of fatuous rivalry between Prok and Phil that goes beyond eye-rolling diatribes but they are both good people despite that.

I hardly am a conspiracy theorist given the amount of facts I've gathered.

I'm puzzled by this reference to "fatuous rivalry between Prok and Phil". That's never been the case and I don't know where you got this idea. I was an admirer of Philip but also a critic, and that's normal. He is an engineer and coder with a degree in physics I believe and invented and managed a massive virtual world with a million people in it. I'm a Russian translator who has translated probably 50 books, many of famous Russians. We couldn't be more different and there isn't grounds for "rivalry" in this sense.

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22 hours ago, Zsigmond Alcott said:

Let this be a lesson kids. This is what happens when you self medicate.O.o

You really like to troll with that comment.

As for which phrase of SL it's down to personal preference. I don't see how you can use "SECOND LIFE" and then compare it to first life. That's just silly. I stick to "Second Life" or if people already know what Second Life is, "SL". If I talk about "RL" then I'm of the mind that we're all people behind the monitors. "First life" does not translate into "Sharing personal details". Which some people seem to think for some reason. For example, I can have a SL home with SL company. That doesn't mean I'm about to go telling everyone who I'm interacting with and what sim I'm at.

Anyway, I'm a grammar nazi. So I avoid "SECOND LIFE" because who the blazes uses all caps with their spelling unless they're shouting or using an abbreviation like "ASAP"? Maybe people just get lazy and leave caps lock on?

Edited by Taramafor
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What about the people that say,Second Life?

Because now that I remember,that's actually how I would say it if i wasn't calling it Second Life,sorry I mean SL..

Unless I was in a hurry and just said second life or secondlife,unless my Caps were on and I didn't know it and still in a hurry and hit submit and noticed I said SECOND LIFE..

Although I can't really ever remember having done the whole,caps lock,hitting submit,forgetting,thing..

 

Seriously,I don't pay much attention to how I or anyone else say's it..

I just don't want someone coming up to me months from now  doing this ,because I said Second Life.

9215148598_587b792031_o.gif

 

hehehehe

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in terms of giving emphasis to the first word it is about the way you breathe, you use most of your breath in the first word and the second word comes when you are going out of that breath.

in terms of significance the focus should be on "life", the word "second" was just a description of the main focus, like saying "red car", the main objective is the car, secondary, one of its attributes.

Philip Rosedale came with the idea of Second Life as a life you have in another world, something different from your usual real life, like being virtually reborn.

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