"Run" vs. "Set"

Thomas M. Paikeday t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA
Mon Apr 7 14:38:12 UTC 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred Shapiro" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 10:25 PM
Subject: "Run" vs. "Set"

> I have been having an argument with an acquaintance about which English
> word has the greatest number of meanings.  I have been giving the standard
> OED answer of "set," but he insists it's "run" because in his dictionary,
> the American Heritage, "run" has more senses.
> In formulating my latest answer to him, it would help me to understand why
> the American Heritage comes out contrary to OED on this point.  Would
> people interpret this as meaning that "run" is more polysemous in American
> English than it is in British English, or vice-versa with "set"?  Or is
> the explanation that "set" has more obscure senses than "run" does, and
> that "set" therefore pulls ahead of "run" when a larger dictionary with
> more obscure senses is consulted?  Or is there some other explanation?
> Fred Shapiro

Another explanation may be what I call "atomization of  meaning" at the
discretion of each lexicographer. A comparative study of the numbered
meanings might substantiate this.

T. M. Paikeday
P.S. I just read F.A's detailed discussion of this and I agree with most of
what Frank has to say.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
> Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
>   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
> Yale Law School                             forthcoming
> e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------

More information about the Ads-l mailing list