Running hard

English is a fearfully irregular language.

For example, there are the obvious irregularities of pronunciation, such as through, though, cough and bough (you need to read those aloud!)

And then there are cases the same word has various meanings.  “Mine” (belonging to me and a hole in the ground) is one example.  Another is “run”, which the Macquarie Dictionary affords 167 meanings, of which number 1 is to move at faster than walking pace and number 121 is a rapid succession of musical notes.

Last night we had a wonderful rehearsal polishing up all the music for the forthcoming concert.  We did pretty well.  There were one or two glitches, but Carlos sorted them out and we are ready for the next stage, rehearsing with the soloists next week.

But for me there was one black spot.  Runs. The many meanings of this word came to mind as we ran through the music, although I had not anticipated finding quite so many in the dictionary.

We in the select first bass department have three really long runs to master.  My colleagues were fine.  But for me, the first was navigated just about successfully, the second fell apart somewhere in the middle and the third never quite got off the ground – its starting very high in the register on a top E is, I am told, no excuse.

So if you will please excuse me now, I am off for the first of many practice runs to get fit for next week.  I leave you to guess whether that is meaning number 1 or number 121.