host

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host

Post by Archived Topic » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:05 pm

this may sound silly, i already know a host is a large quanity of something ie a mighty host of men but has anyone given thought about at what number does a group become a host i think i have heard a reference to a group as little as 20 men being called a host. any ideas on the subject? jason alexandro jax fl
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:20 pm

Jason, Hate to tell you, but it does sound silly. Trying to locate a demarcation between not many and many looks to me to be an exercise in futility.
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Ken G – November 1, 2003

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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:34 pm

And anyway, the guests usually outnumber the hosts.
A Fortune to Guestage
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:49 pm

Jason, mate don't worry while Ken goes off to ponder the meaning of the universe and why belly button fluff exists we smaller minds will share you concern .. seems the two most common definitions for "host" are "army" and "multitude", with "multitude" having the meaning of a "great" or "very large" number .. similarly if one has a peek in old Roget's book we again find synonyms at "army" and "multitude" .. to me this rules out the idea of 20 people being a host ..
(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)
1. An army. 2. A great number; a multitude.
(Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 10th Edition )
1 : ARMY
2 : a very large number : MULTITUDE
.. admittedly one must concede that "host" is a relative term and depends upon ones own ideas about just how big an army is or what makes a "very large" number .. but definitely more than 20 .. *smile* ..
Wizard of Oz, Australia. 02/11/03
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:03 pm

Wiz, I think you’ve got a host of problems in your narrow thinking – now is that more or less than 20? When does a group become a host? How many is in a multitude? I think common usage contradicts the monolithic concept of untold numbers and that the size of a ‘host’ is in the eyes of the beholder. This is easily illustrated with a few examples in addition to ‘your host of problems.’

From Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary –“A whole host of children began to push at the door.—Earnest Beaglehole.” Now I ask you Wiz, how many children could be pushing on one lousy door, even a pretty big one?

Aug.25, 2003, Oklahoma City: “A Host of Cats [Arizona Wildcats] Picked for USA Olympic Trials” – Ten former or current University of Arizona softball players have been named to the list of 46 players invited to participate in 2003 Olympic Trials . . . – And here we have a host of TEN!!

“With a whole host of attractions including three swimming pools, four tennis courts and an ice skating rink, the hotel offers something to keep even the most active guests entertained.” This hotel ad mentions 8 attractions. They need 12 more to make 20 and who knows how many more to satisfy your conception of ‘host.’

It’s really not too hard to come up with a hole host (in this case a very, very large number) of counterexamples to what you believe to be the meaning and usage of ‘host.’ Wiz, you ought get some of that bellybutton lint out of your ears and, at least in this case, rely more on reality and what you hear than what you read in dictionaries. (<:)
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Ken G – November 1, 2003



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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:17 pm

In last paragraph, that should read ‘whole host.’ Of course, a ‘hole host’ is a maître d’ at a golf course.

Ken G – November 1, 2003

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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:32 pm

Is this correct usage: Ken posts a host of rude responses?

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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:46 pm

Dear (-) And I suppose your definition of rudeness is disagreement with your point of view. With skin as thin as yours you had better refrain from any open debate!
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Ken G – November 2, 2003

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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:01 pm

.. *laughing* .. see Jason I knew we could draw Ken out of retirement to talk to us .. thanks Ken for being so predictable .. *smiling* .. your points further illustrate my closing remark that "host" is a relative term and depends upon the environment in which it is used .. that it may be misused by some journalists/authors in an attempt to overstate or dramatise the point can also be argued .. this imprecision in the use of terms is growing ever greater in journalism as journalists attempt to win awards for their "dramatic" and "sensational" stories .. I mean "Several Arizona Wildcats Players Picked for USA Olympic Trials" hardly has the same visual impact as the original headline .. although I believe it to be a more correct statement as to the number of players selected ..
.. a ‘hole host’ is a maître d’ at a golf course .. very clever .. *laughing* ..
WoZ of Aus, 03/11/03
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:15 pm

Wiz, Predictability in the use of common sense is not a bad thing. (<;) It’s no revelation that ‘host’ is an imprecise term, but I wouldn’t say ‘it’s is being misused by journalists, etc. What I would say is that over time it has evolved and taken on new meaning. And meanings of words get defined by usage and not by what old dictionaries say – as any descriptivist will tell you. The ‘host’ of armies is a usage left over from days of yore, and although host can mean a very large number it can also mean just a bunch. And when was the last time you heard an army called a host? – in the Bible? (<:) Just do a Google search and you will find literally hundreds of examples of the word being used by non-sensationalist journalists, authors, etc. to mean ‘batch of’ where a batch of is ‘quite a few’ but not all that many. ‘The state legislature is considering a host of new bills.’ ‘CFO finds himself with a host of problems.’ ‘Latest model offers a host of new features.’ Deny it as you may, ‘host’ just ain’t what it used to be and that’s no overstatement for dramatic effect!

Yours in perpetual controversy, (<:)

Ken – November 2, 2003





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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:29 pm

Anyone who argues with Ken is thost. EA (and yes I am over 20).
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:44 pm

I have to defend the journalist (and editor who accepted or even wrote the headline). While 10 is not in the abstract a large number, to have 10 out of 47 Olympic hopefuls come from one school does represent an unusually large percentage and so I could accept an argument for it being a "host."

Lois Martin, Birmingham, Alabama, November 3, 2004 (where it is supposed to hit a record high of 85 degrees today!)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:58 pm

Dear Lois
Do you mind one's asking if you were once a journalist yourself? Your first name seems to ring a bell - and it would explain your valiant leaping to the defence of the profession. I was a maths teacher, and now 50% of my own children (ie 1) is/are at University. He's big, he can be a handful, but he's not a host (unless we pay him a visit).
Respectfully, Edwin Ashworth (freezing in Oldham)
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:13 pm

i find the converstation very stimulating and not a bit rude now how many cattle does it take to have a stampede;)
jason
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Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:27 pm

Fifty if you round up (but that's a science question, not a semantic one - are you a bit of a maverick, jason?)
EA
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