U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: Warning re Christopher James book

RE: Warning re Christopher James book

At 03:09 PM 3/10/2008, you wrote:

On Mon, 10 Mar 2008, BOB KISS wrote:

        Just a quick question regarding grammar.  Shouldn't it be "sets-up"
not "set-ups"?  I defer to your knowledge so please advise...
Well Bob, be my guest -- but I think the hyphen turns the whole thing into the noun. "Sets-up" feels awkward & unclear (to me anyway) plus we're only doing one at a time.

HOWEVER, you force me to consult the Oxford American Dictionary, which lists both "set-to" and "set-up" as nouns. "Set-to" is "a fight or argument (colloquial)"; "set-up" has 4 meanings, the first being "an arrangement or organization," the last "the glass, ice, mixers, etc., for preparing alcoholic drinks."


I think in all four definitions of "set-up" there is the common factor that each is an "arrangement" of something. In this use set-up, with or without the hyphen, is a noun referring to something that exists so IMO the plural should be the same as for any other noun or object, that is, the S goes on the end vis: set-ups. As a verb I think the hyphen is not necessary or correct as in "Can you set up these lights?" The resulting arrangement of lights would be called a set-up. If there is more than one it would become set-ups as in "What lighting set-ups do you have for the scenes in this play?"
Those with a deep and abiding interest in this sort of stuff should visit the news group _alt.usage.english.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA