[ExI] comprisition, was: extropy-chat Digest, Vol 216, Issue 27

Anton Sherwood bronto at pobox.com
Mon Sep 20 17:56:12 UTC 2021

On 2021-9-20 05:14, Anton Sherwood via extropy-chat wrote:
> I have at least once seen «comprise» defined as ‘include exhaustively’,
> as in “Japan comprises four big islands and many little ones” but not
> *“Japan comprises Hokkaido.”  But that restriction is not consistent
> with the French usage.

I'll elaborate on that.  «compris(e(s))» is the passive participle of 
the French verb «comprendre», Latin «comprehendere», literally ‘grasp 
together’.  Already in Latin it had the metaphoric sense ‘understand’, 
and in French it means both ‘understand’ and ‘include, consist of’.

In some contexts it's not clear which way the metaphor goes!  For 
example the fixed phrase «service compris» means that the stated price 
should be *understood* as *including* the service fee.

In English «comprehensive» means all-inclusive, though I don't think we 
otherwise use «comprehend» in that sense.  How about «comprehensive of 
X»?  I have never used that construction but I would take it to mean 
‘(also) including X (which I mention because you might well not have 
thought of it)’.

*\\*  Anton Sherwood  *\\*  www.bendwavy.org

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