arsenal = collection = store

Damien Hall djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
Thu Feb 4 11:56:59 UTC 2010

I can see that the meaning of 'arsenal' here is branching out somewhat from
the original 'collection of weapons', but it still seems to me it isn't
going too far. All the things featured in 'arsenals' in this thread which
are not literal weapons are, it seems to me, still things that are used
(metaphorically or actually) for attack. Twitterjacking, for example, is
something aggressive to do to a tweeter; superpowers (someone is mentioned
as having an arsenal of them) are often used for bad; hip-hop is often
heard in the context of 'battles' between musicians; research data could be
used to 'attack' someone else's hypothesis, or to 'attack' a hostile
meeting whose participants are convinced that the researcher is wrong; and
so on. Am I merely re-stating what was said yesterday about changes in
denotation being started by figurative uses: documenting that the change is
(I think) so far incipient in that the figurative uses don't stray too far
from the literal meaning?

All that, anyway, to say that I don't think 'arsenal' can yet denote a
'store' of things utterly unconnected to attack (whether the things in the
arsenal are used for attack, as in hip-hop, or to defend against attack, as
in corn).


Damien Hall

University of York
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
YO10 5DD

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