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Speed(s)

In Wired magazine, I came across: “fast and furious Internet speeds”. Why “speeds”? Why plural? Why is “speed” countable in the first place? Speed is measurable, but you can’t really count the concept of velocity itself, like one speed, two speeds, three speeds.

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I am assuming that the context was a discussion of multiple internet thingies (e.g. DSL and Cable, messageboards and blogs, etc.) which each move at different speeds. Since the speed of DSL and Cable are distinct, albeit both fast, they both move at rather fast speeds. The range of speeds on cable connections varies as well, so you'd use the plural to indicate that.

yoinkmydanish November 11, 2002 @ 4:50PM

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