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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The most puzzling three-letter word

Piste   (Photo by John Philipp)
Religionists who speak English would probably say that “God” is the most puzzling three-letter word.  After all, who God is has puzzled folks for thousands of years.

Nevertheless, Oxford English Dictionary editors (and it doesn’t get more proper than that) have made a different choice.  They have decided that the word “run” is even more confusing.

Citing “645 usage cases” for its “verb form alone,” lexicographers point out that “context is everything.”  A run to the store is quite different from a run on the bank.  If you run up a bill, you might find your money running out.  If you run too fast, you might trip and create a run in your stocking. A runny nose might cause you to run through your tissues.

This could run on and on, but patience would run out fast, thus precipitating a run-in with readers.


Copyright April 20, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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