[Grammar] Use of the word span to denote extending into new realms, territories etc

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Sheikh_14

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What I intend to ascertain from this thread is whether it is perfectly acceptable to use the word span when trying to cite an entrance into another area, realm etc.. For instance if a hotel magnate were to make investments in a new locale to expand his empire would it be fair to say that his empire has now "spanned into whatever locale it happens to be, or would it be now spans across. Are either palatable? and if one, or neither is than please try to afford an elucidation of why you have perceived it not to be.

Another context that comes to mind could be a conversation, for instance, it could be said that "After thoroughly deliberating over realms of interest such as sports their ceaseless conversation spanned into .... (and than you could name any topic, which one it happens to be is immaterial). Span here is endeavouring to give the impression that they are extending into new territory and that any subject than happens to encompass more than it did hitherto.



Secondly, to conserve the time of both myself and the intelligent gentleman/woman as well as leverage their expertise on the english language I'd like to tie another but shorter question to this thread which is that can a domain be described as an area of responsibility. Thus do departmental duties serve as the domain of its manager?

My apologies, for appending two disparate questions on one thread but they just happen to be exigent for me at this moment and thus a sufficient answer would bring great relief.

Thank You in Advance....
 

Raymott

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What I intend to ascertain from this thread is whether it is perfectly acceptable to use the word span when trying to cite an entrance into another area, realm etc.. For instance if a hotel magnate were to make investments in a new locale to expand his empire would it be fair to say that his empire has now "spanned into whatever locale it happens to be, or would it be now spans across. Are either palatable? and if one, or neither is than please try to afford an elucidation of why you have perceived it not to be.

Another context that comes to mind could be a conversation, for instance, it could be said that "After thoroughly deliberating over realms of interest such as sports their ceaseless conversation spanned into .... (and than you could name any topic, which one it happens to be is immaterial). Span here is endeavouring to give the impression that they are extending into new territory and that any subject than happens to encompass more than it did hitherto.



Secondly, to conserve the time of both myself and the intelligent gentleman/woman as well as leverage their expertise on the english language I'd like to tie another but shorter question to this thread which is that can a domain be described as an area of responsibility. Thus do departmental duties serve as the domain of its manager?

My apologies, for appending two disparate questions on one thread but they just happen to be exigent for me at this moment and thus a sufficient answer would bring great relief.

Thank You in Advance....
After having given what I believe to be adequate consideration of your question, let me say that such a use of 'span' impresses me as neither 'palatable' nor natural. 'Span' is normally used when the two places are already known and established. These places can be spanned by a railway. More commonly, though, I should add, is that 'span' generally refers to the space between the two places that are spanned. For example, a bridge spans a river. You don't span one bank thereof to the other. Note however, that we have been discussing the verb 'span'. The noun is used as you have suggested, eg. "The span of the bridge is 200 metres."

I turn now to your second, and unrelated, question - namely whether an 'area of responsibility' can be called a 'domain'. To this question I can give an unequivocal 'Yes'. "Teaching and disciplining children is within a teacher's domain of work."

I hope to have succeeded in reducing your doubts in relation to the two subjects that you have presented to us.
 

Sheikh_14

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However, you do use span when mentioning that a range of features were involved - "their interests span almost all the conventional disciplines" Span also means extends across thus although it is plausible that grammatically the sentences may be flawed but to so is to say that the word doesn't hold any such connotation. For very few words hold just a single meaning and whilst arm span relates to your point the phrase span of control would also relate to mine for it illustrates who happens to be under one's charge. Thus if what is said above is slightly grammatically incorrect than rectify it but saying that such definition does not exist is rather dubious.
 

Raymott

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However, you do use span when mentioning that a range of features were involved - "their interests span almost all the conventional disciplines" Span also means extends across thus although it is plausible that grammatically the sentences may be flawed but to so is to say that the word doesn't hold any such connotation. For very few words hold just a single meaning and whilst arm span relates to your point the phrase span of control would also relate to mine for it illustrates who happens to be under one's charge. Thus if what is said above is slightly grammatically incorrect than rectify it but saying that such definition does not exist is rather dubious.
"their interests span almost all the conventional disciplines" - That's right. They go over the whole lot, just as a bridge goes over the whole river. Their interests don't span to the outermost disciplines. You might see it used that way, but it's not the basic meaning. I find it very unnatural to say that something "spans into another area".
I didn't say that the definition you want doesn't exist. If you reread my post, you'll see that my claims were made cautiously. If you can find the definition you want in a good English dictionary, then I'll have to agree with you that it's correct. That would have no bearing on whether it sounded natural though, which I took to be your question.
 

emsr2d2

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Sheikh_14, please remember that other learners are going to read your posts. While your knowledge of English vocabulary is clearly very good, indeed sometimes impenetrably so, bear in mind that we try to make our posts understandable to as many people as possible. Much of your post was overly flowery and unnecessary. Other learners might have learnt something from this thread but some of them won't have got further than your first paragraph without giving up.

For example, there is no reason to use phrases like "Please try to afford an elucidation of why you have perceived it not to be". It would have been quite sufficient to say "If you don't think so, please explain why not".
 

Sheikh_14

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Yes, ill try doing that and in line with your post by "impenetrably" do you mean incomprehensible or without defect. Could you please clarify that. Secondly, would the word crystallize classify as a synonym for clarify?
 

5jj

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by "impenetrably" do you mean incomprehensible or without defect. Could you please clarify that.
I suspect that ems meant the former. She gave, in her last post, an example of a sentence that would be difficult for many non-native (and some native) speakers to understand. I am not really sure what you mean by 'leverage their expertise'.
 

SoothingDave

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I suspect that ems meant the former. She gave, in her last post, an example of a sentence that would be difficult for many non-native (and some native) speakers to understand. I am not really sure what you mean by 'leverage their expertise'.

Unfortunately, "leverage their expertise" sounds like standard business-speak.
 

Rover_KE

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What does it mean, Dave?
 

SoothingDave

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A lever can multiply a force. That's the idea behind the business use of "leverage." I didn't say it was very good or clear. Just the opposite in fact. It's using language to make things sound more complex or important than they are.
 
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