An army or a dozen

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Feb 7 09:08:20 UTC 2008

An army of men, or a dozen Kalidahs. Admittedly, it can be read
either way, but this is the only one that makes sense. BB

On Feb 7, 2008, at 1:03 AM, LanDi Liu wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      An army or a dozen
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> From The Wizard of Oz:
> "The Lion declared he was afraid of nothing on earth, and would
> gladly face
> an army or a dozen of the fierce Kalidahs."*
> In the above sentence, would you read this to be 'an army of the
> Kalidahs,
> or a dozen of the Kalidahs', or 'an army of men, or a dozen of the
> fierce
> Kalidahs."?
> I think it's very unnatural to put the greater before the lesser in
> this
> kind of a context.  But it may be that the Kalidahs were being
> thought of
> here as being even more powerful than an army.  Does anyone here
> have (or
> can think of) any examples of putting the greater before the
> lesser?  Or
> does anyone think it is (or once was) normal to do this?
> *Kalidahs are huge animals with bodies like bears and heads like
> tigers.
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Jilin City, China
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