Q: OED quotations for "flying

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 4 22:25:39 UTC 2011

Not necessarily a goof. I've come across several instances of similar
divisions. Without mind-reading, there are a couple of possibilities. First,
this could occur in the case where the more general expression is actually
an extension of the more specific rather than the specific being an instant
of the more general. This could occur either by coincidence--the word simply
might not have been used in other situations--or as direct outgrowth--the
expression became associated with a particular quality of the collocation
and transferred to other situations. There is also the possibility that one
subentry is an update of the other or a split that did not exist in the
earlier edition. There may, of course, be other possibilities.


On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Could Ofxford have goofed?
> JL
> On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 4:25 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> >
> > The OED has for sense 4.a, "That passes or travels swiftly, that
> > passes by rapidly or rushes along; rapid. flying leap: a running jump
> > [etc.]" the earliest citation as 1658.
> >
> > But it then has for sense 4.b, "esp. in flying post, a post
> > travelling by relays of horses, an express [etc.]." the earliest
> > citation as 1548.
> >
> > Why shouldn't the 1548 quotation for 4.b, which is a subclass of
> > sense 4.a, be shown in 4.a itself?  Particularly when 4.a includes
> > some compounds, and the 4.b quotation is (much) earlier.
> >
> > Joel

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