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What is Traffic?

spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
I know it sounds a stupid question. I had always taken the view that all road users were "traffic", whether on pedal cycle, horse, motorised vehicle, public transport etc.

However, on my commute today, I saw a road sign that said "Bus and traffic diversion"

So when did busses cease to be part of the traffic?
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  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    Hilarious...I'm surprised our resident pedant, Coriander, hasn't paid a visit to this thread already :D

    Honestly, if I had a penny for each and every time :wink: something like that cropped up eh?!
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Littigator wrote:
    ....

    Honestly, if I had a penny for each and every time :wink: something like that cropped up eh?!

    you would have 2p by now? :twisted:
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  • Amazingly enough Dictionary.com has traffic described as:
    -noun
    1) the movement of vehicles, ships, persons, but not busses., in an area, along a street, through an air lane, over a water route, etc.: the heavy traffic on Main Street.

    So there we go then ...
    R25

    Ridgeback R25 - 1% bike
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    R25 Flyer wrote:
    Amazingly enough Dictionary.com has traffic described as:
    -noun
    1) the movement of vehicles, ships, persons, but not busses., in an area, along a street, through an air lane, over a water route, etc.: the heavy traffic on Main Street.

    So there we go then ...
    you have added the exclusion of busses. What dictionary.com actually states is
    dictionary results for: traffic
    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
    traf·fic /ˈtræfɪk/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[traf-ik] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -ficked, -fick·ing.
    –noun 1. the movement of vehicles, ships, persons, etc., in an area, along a street, through an air lane, over a water route, etc.: the heavy traffic on Main Street.
    2. the vehicles, persons, etc., moving in an area, along a street, etc.
    3. the transportation of goods for the purpose of trade, by sea, land, or air: ships of traffic.
    4. trade; buying and selling; commercial dealings.
    5. trade between different countries or places; commerce.
    6. the business done by a railroad or other carrier in the transportation of freight or passengers.
    7. the aggregate of freight, passengers, telephone or telegraph messages, etc., handled, esp. in a given period.
    8. communication, dealings, or contact between persons or groups: traffic between the Democrats and the Republicans.
    9. mutual exchange or communication: traffic in ideas.
    10. trade in some specific commodity or service, often of an illegal nature: the vast traffic in narcotics.
    –verb (used without object) 11. to carry on traffic, trade, or commercial dealings.
    12. to trade or deal in a specific commodity or service, often of an illegal nature (usually fol. by in): to traffic in opium.



    [Origin: 1495–1505; earlier traffyk < MF trafique (n.), trafiquer (v.) < It traffico (n.), trafficare (v.), of disputed orig.]

    —Related forms
    traf·fick·er, noun
    traf·fic·less, adjective


    —Synonyms 4. See trade.
    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
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    American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This traf·fic (trāf'ĭk) Pronunciation Key
    n.

    The passage of people or vehicles along routes of transportation.
    Vehicles or pedestrians in transit: heavy traffic on the turnpike; stopped oncoming traffic to let the children cross.
    The commercial exchange of goods; trade.
    Illegal or improper commercial activity: drug traffic on city streets.
    The business of moving passengers and cargo through a transportation system. See Synonyms at business.
    The amount of cargo or number of passengers conveyed.
    The conveyance of messages or data through a system of communication: routers that manage Internet traffic.
    Messages or data conveyed through such a system: a tremendous amount of telephone traffic on Mother's Day; couldn't download the file due to heavy Internet traffic.

    The commercial exchange of goods; trade.
    Illegal or improper commercial activity: drug traffic on city streets.
    The business of moving passengers and cargo through a transportation system. See Synonyms at business.
    The amount of cargo or number of passengers conveyed.
    The conveyance of messages or data through a system of communication: routers that manage Internet traffic.
    Messages or data conveyed through such a system: a tremendous amount of telephone traffic on Mother's Day; couldn't download the file due to heavy Internet traffic.

    The business of moving passengers and cargo through a transportation system. See Synonyms at business.
    The amount of cargo or number of passengers conveyed.
    The conveyance of messages or data through a system of communication: routers that manage Internet traffic.
    Messages or data conveyed through such a system: a tremendous amount of telephone traffic on Mother's Day; couldn't download the file due to heavy Internet traffic.

    The conveyance of messages or data through a system of communication: routers that manage Internet traffic.
    Messages or data conveyed through such a system: a tremendous amount of telephone traffic on Mother's Day; couldn't download the file due to heavy Internet traffic.
    Social or verbal exchange; communication: refused further traffic with the estranged friend.

    intr.v. traf·ficked, traf·fick·ing, traf·fics
    To carry on trade or other dealings: trafficked in liquidation merchandise; traffic with gangsters.


    [French trafic, from Old French trafique, from Old Italian traffico, from trafficare, to trade, perhaps from Catalan trafegar, to decant, from Vulgar Latin *trānsfaecāre : trāns-, trans- + faex, faec-, dregs; see feces.]

    traf'fick·er n.


    (Download Now or Buy the Book)
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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    Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
    traffic (n.)

    1505, "trade, commerce," from M.Fr. trafique (1441), from It. traffico (1323), from trafficare "carry on trade," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a V.L. *transfricare "to rub across" (from L. trans- "across" + fricare "to rub"), with the original sense of the It. verb being "touch repeatedly, handle." Or the second element may be an unexplained alteration of L. facere "to make, do." Klein suggests ultimate derivation of the It. word from Arabic tafriq "distribution." Meaning "people and vehicles coming and going" first recorded 1825. The verb is from 1542 (and preserves the original commercial sense). Traffic jam is 1917, ousting earlier traffic block (1895).


    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
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    WordNet - Cite This Source - Share This traffic

    noun
    1. the aggregation of things (pedestrians or vehicles) coming and going in a particular locality during a specified period of time
    2. buying and selling; especially illicit trade
    3. the amount of activity over a communication system during a given period of time; "heavy traffic overloaded the trunk lines"; "traffic on the internet is lightest during the night"
    4. social or verbal interchange (usually followed by 'with') [syn: dealings]

    verb
    1. deal illegally; "traffic drugs"
    2. trade or deal a commodity; "They trafficked with us for gold"


    WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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    Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law - Cite This Source - Share This
    Main Entry: traf·fic
    Function: noun
    often attrib 1 a : import and export trade b : the business of bartering or buying and selling c : illegal or disreputable usually commercial activity traffic>
    2 a : the movement (as of vehicles or pedestrians) through an area or along a route b : the vehicles, pedestrians, ships, or planes moving along a route c : the information or signals transmitted over a communications system
    3 a : the passengers or cargo carried by a transportation system b : the business of transporting passengers or freight


    Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
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    Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law - Cite This Source - Share This
    Main Entry: traffic
    Function: verb
    Inflected Forms: traf·ficked; traf·fick·ing
    intransitive verb : to carry on traffic transitive verb 1 : to travel over
    2 : to engage in the trading or bartering of —traf·fick·er noun


    Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
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    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
    Traffic

    Traf"fic\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Trafficked; p. pr. & vb. n. Trafficking.] [F. trafiquer; cf. It. trafficare, Sp. traficar, trafagar, Pg. traficar, trafegar, trafeguear, LL. traficare; of uncertain origin, perhaps fr. L. trans across, over + -ficare to make (see -fy, and cf. G. ["u]bermachen to transmit, send over, e. g., money, wares); or cf. Pg. trasfegar to pour out from one vessel into another, OPg. also, to traffic, perhaps fr. (assumed) LL. vicare to exchange, from L. vicis change (cf. Vicar).]

    1. To pass goods and commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money; to buy or sell goods; to barter; to trade.

    2. To trade meanly or mercenarily; to bargain.


    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
    Traffic

    Traf"fic\, v. t. To exchange in traffic; to effect by a bargain or for a consideration.


    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
    Traffic

    Traf"fic\, n. [Cf. F. trafic, It. traffico, Sp. trfico, trfago, Pg. trfego, LL. traficum, trafica. See Traffic, v.]

    1. Commerce, either by barter or by buying and selling; interchange of goods and commodities; trade.

    A merchant of great traffic through the world. --Shak.

    The traffic in honors, places, and pardons. --Macaulay.

    Note: This word, like trade, comprehends every species of dealing in the exchange or passing of goods or merchandise from hand to hand for an equivalent, unless the business of relating may be excepted. It signifies appropriately foreign trade, but is not limited to that.

    2. Commodities of the market. [R.]

    You 'll see a draggled damsel From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear. --Gay.

    3. The business done upon a railway, steamboat line, etc., with reference to the number of passengers or the amount of freight carried.

    Traffic return, a periodical statement of the receipts for goods and passengers, as on a railway line.

    Traffic taker, a computer of the returns of traffic on a railway, steamboat line, etc.

    No mention of busses being excluded and in your version, a bus is of course a vehicle is it not?
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  • Rumbled! If it weren't for you pesky kids with your long posts I'd have got away with it! :D
    R25

    Ridgeback R25 - 1% bike
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    spen666

    no chance that a plain old link would have sufficed there? :twisted:
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    cee wrote:
    spen666

    no chance that a plain old link would have sufficed there? :twisted:

    not a chance when its been misquoted before and its the detail that is important
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  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    hmmmm.....especially the detail about commerce and commodities eh! :wink:
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • I think limiting the investigation to nouns might have helped.

    That chap who does bicycling and the law on velonews did a piece on this recently. Clearly it might depend on which jurisdiction, but since most US law appears to be derived from English law of about 300 years ago, I would have thought that the general definition of traffic as whatever comprises the majority of vehicles / people is, at that time, the road traffic.

    What do I know.
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