Owen Hodge 728 x 90 – Home page
Owen Hodge 728 x 90 – Home page

ENGLISH: USE OF THE WORD ‘MULTIPLE’

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READ TIME: 1.30 MINS

For good reason, some journalists are beginning to rail against the use/misuse of the word ‘multiple’.  The best I have come across was in a recent ABC broadcast when a person being interviewed spoke of a celebrity who as a child in poor circumstances, was forced to wear shoes ‘multiple sizes too big for her’. Surely ‘many’ or ‘some’ is the correct word in this instance. The point is that multiple is derived from mathematics. For example the factors of twenty-four are six and four, twelve and two, three and eight. Three times eight is twenty-four etc. The point being that eight multiplied by three means 8+8+8. Each eight is exactly the same. With this reasoning no one can be stabbed multiple times, because no stab wound is exactly the same as the wound preceding it. Get it? ‘Multiple’ means a recurring of the exact same thing or event.  Let’s return to the use of ‘several’, ‘many’, ‘repeatedly’ because these words are the correct words to use unless the happening is a repetition of the exact same thing.

Written by: Bill Widerberg 

 


About Bill 

bill-widenbergBill Widerberg grew up in Clovelly in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, attending Sydney Boys’ High School and the University of Sydney. He began his working life as a teacher of English in the small Hunter Valley town of Kurri Kurri in NSW, later teaching in London. Bill abandoned education for commerce. Success brought him to the board tables of companies operating in Australia and overseas. A keen surfer, he has been a member of Bronte Surf Life Saving Club for more than fifty years. Bill has long been intrigued by the dynamics of group behaviour: the effects of leadership, motivation and ambition. The Big End of Town was his first novel, an adult thriller that received great reviews in all media nationally; The trilogy set 4000 years in the future, 6001 ICEWORLD, The Sleepers, Land of Fire. The action of this trilogy occurs in a world of a mere 60 people, the last remnants of humanity following the climate changes that began in the 20th century. The story appeals to readers of all ages. The trilogy was well reviewed in Australia and received even better reviews in the USA. I completed my last book, The Alexander Proposition, in December 2015.

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