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Fine-Tuning 21, Myriad

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 01:56 am
I recently saw somewhere (I think it was on a2k) that someone (I don't remember who) was suggesting (strongly) that the word myriad may be used only as an adjective.

Myriad (innumerable; having innumerable aspects or elements) is certainly an adjective.

The project has myriad problems.

Myriad is also a noun (ten thousand; a great number).

The project has a myriad of problems.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 1,587 • Replies: 10
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 11:00 am
Thanks for clarifying that, Roberta. Personally, "myriad" is a word I would prefer to see less often. It's a highfalutin way to say "many"...
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 12:39 pm
I'll take it over panoply as a noun. Unless you're really suited up, of course.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 12:41 pm
Hi D'art, Agreed. Myriad is one of those words you're more likely to read or write than use in a conversation.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 12:41 pm
How about "plethora"?
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 05:19 pm
I don't like A myriad OF -- ever. I think it should be used just like the words 'ten thousand' -- and you'd never say 'a ten thousand of ...'

Can anyone think of a sentence where the A and the OF are required for the sense of the sentence?
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 05:34 pm
Roger and D'art--Panoply and plethora. I kinda like myriad.

Wy--The definition is also "a great number." There may be A LOT OF expressions that use A and OF, but this is the first one that came to mind. And there are A GREAT NUMBER OF examples, but this is the one I've selected. Here's the usage sample from Webster's: a myriad of ideas.
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 05:36 pm
That's what I don't get: what's the difference between "myriad ideas" and "a myriad of ideas" except for two extra words (that I don't want there)?
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 11:47 pm
Wy, I have no idea why these two words exist when one would do. I can hazard a guess. It's possible that so many people said "a myriad of" over such a long period of time that it became accepted usage. It wouldn't be the first time that mistakes became acceptable.
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2003 02:51 pm
You're certainly right about that! Smile
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2003 04:46 pm
Hmmm. Might make an interesting thread. Things that used to be considered wrong are now no longer wrong. I will cogitate on this.
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