Wednesday’s Word: Set
Well, here’s a word I’m sure you already know. It’s a very pedestrian word which most of us probably use more days than not, and yet these three little letters hold a distinction you might not be aware of and this the fact that the word set happens to be the English word with the most definitions, with the 2nd edition of the Oxford English dictionary listing the number at 464!
Here are just a few of the many uses of set:
- Game, set, match.
- I’m set for life.
- Watch out, that concrete hasn’t set yet.
- She runs with the jet set.
- I set my book down on the nightstand.
- That decision set in motion a terrible series of events.
- Oh no, I forgot to set the alarm clock.
- Frodo and Sam set off for Mordor with the ring.
And so on and so forth…Obviously I’m not going to list all 464 uses here, but that’s just a quick sample to refresh your memory.
Another interesting little tidbit about this fact is where I learned it and that is from “The Big Book of Amazing Facts”.
Now this is a book I’ll bet not many of you have heard of. In fact, I’m dating myself somewhat by mentioning it because it was published in 1980 and I’m sure I was first given my copy sometime around that time.
What I loved about this book was that it had marvelous, playful illustrations that made it imminently accessible to kids. In fact, I think some of my early drawings were copies of the wonderful line art that graced every page of the book. And the facts themselves were such wonderfully obscure things to impress your friends with (and adults as well). In fact, I used this book well into high school when I wrote a trivia column for the high school newspaper. It was an endless font of interesting information in the days before internet and a thousand TV channels.
There were things like:
- What’s the longest word in the English language?
- What will people look like in the future?
- How to pronounce “fish” using the letters GHOTI.
- When was basketball invented?
- Why does leaning tower of Pisa lean?
And heaps of other stuff I’ve since forgotten. I need to dig around in the attic sometime and see if I still have my copy. It would make for some very interesting posts (at least to me).
But as for today, just one Amazing Fact is all I have. As I often tell my kids (though they don’t believe me) learning should be fun, so I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit if you didn’t already know it. There’s so much to learn and so little time to learn it because the world we live in is truly Amazing.