Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Set to run

Some time ago, in another forum I wrote the following as a demonstration of how one word can have many different meanings in English. It is, clearly, based on just a few of the many definitions of "set" in the OED.

A Wind In The Willows sequel.

Ratty set his chess set on the table at Badger's set and proceded to set it up but Badger was set against playing.
"I'd like some Jelly" said Mole.
"It isn't set." snapped Badger who was setting the clock to British Summer Time to set an example to the others who always forgot. Meanwhile Mr Toad was setting off to visit them and watching the sun set as he strolled towards the Wild Wood.
"Why it looks just like a stage set" he mused as he walked. The wind was set from the east and it was a pleasant evening and he was looking forward to being among his set again. Had they come to him off course they could have played a set or two of tennis but Badger's entertainments were more modest.
"Dear old Badger." thought Toad, "So set in his ways. We can't even watch TV, he doesn't have a set. Pity, Britney is on tonight."

He arrived at Badger's and set his hand against the door.
"Come in" cried Badger "And set yourself down", we'll set up the radio and listen to Britney for you, I know you were dead set on hearing her set."

In an item from a couple of years ago that passsed me by completely at the time, Peter Harvey points out that "set" no longer has the longest entry in the OED. That honour apparently now belongs to "run".

So, let's continue the story...

Toad, who had run the last few hundred metres so as not to miss the start wiped the sweat that had run down his face.
"Had a run of bad luck." he declared. "I'd run out of cash for a cab because I've run up a few debts recently. The run of things has been against me recently. So I've run away from home."
Badger looked at him sternly.
"You should run for office." he said dryly.
"Why?" asked Ratty. "He couldn't run a run of the mill birthday party."

Meanwhile Mole had been peering closely at Toad's soaking wet shirt.
"I think the colours have run." he said at last. "And there's a run in the fabric. I'll run along and get a needle and thread."
"No use, " said Badger. "I've run out."

Meanwhile Ratty had been fiddling with the radio.
"Hurry up," he said, "They're about to run the show."
"How long does it run?" asked Toad.
"About an hour." declared Ratty.
"Can we play cards while we listen?" asked Toad. "Poker would be good, if only I could remember whether a flush beats a run."
Much later, when the evening had run its course Ratty decided to run Toad home (he had of course now bought a car, a run down old wreck to be sure but a car nontheless.
"Thanks," said Toad. "When I get home I think I'll run a nice hot bath.
"Be there soon," said Ratty cheerfully. It's only a short run."

To be continued... (I'm in danger of running on and on.)