attention (n.) Look up attention at
late 14c., "giving heed," from Latin attentionem (nominative attentio) "attention, attentiveness," noun of action from past participle stem of attendere "mental heeding" (see attend). Used with a remarkable diversity of verbs (such as pay, gather, attract, draw, call). As a military cautionary word preparative to giving a command, it is attested from 1792. Attention span is from 1903 (earlier span of attention, 1892).