Linguistic Excursion: Universe

The noun "universe" comes from "Latin ūniversum (noun) the whole, the sum of existing things, general idea or principle . . . ūniversus the whole of, entire, complete in all its parts . . . all taken collectively, affecting everyone or everything, general, universal < ūni- uni- comb. form + versus , past participle of vertere to turn (see vert v.1)" ("universe n.," OED). 

The etymological connection between "universe" and the Latin verb "vertere, to turn" show that the idea of motion, spinning with a "turn," is linguistically part of the way the universe is conceptualized.

Looking to Greek myth, Atropos, one of the three Fates, was called "she who cannot be turned" and it was she who "cut the thread of life" (Atsma, "Moirai" n. pag).  

In Latin and Greek, the idea of turning becomes a central metaphor for understanding the nature of existence.

LanguageKatie Ancheta