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meaning of race

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  • Deborah
    One of many meanings of race from the OED. I found this one interesting because it has nothing to do with either heredity or physical appearance. II. A group
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2004
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      One of many meanings of race from the OED. I found this one
      interesting because it has nothing to do with either heredity or
      physical appearance.

      II. A group or class of persons, animals, or things, having some
      common feature or features.

      8. a. A set or class of persons.

      1500-20 DUNBAR Poems xxvi. 50 Bakbyttaris of sindry racis. a1568 R.
      ASCHAM Scholem I. (Arb.) 66 His onely example had breed such a rase
      of worthie learned ientlemen, as this Realme neuer yet did affourde.
      c1580 SIDNEY Ps. XII. i, Ev'n the race of good men are decai'd. a1611
      BEAUM. & FL. Maid's Trag. IV. ii, You preserve A race of idle people
      here about you, Facers and talkers. 1712 BUDGELL Spect. No. 404 3 To
      this Affectation the World owes its whole Race of Coxcombs. 1748
      THOMSON Cast. Indol. I. lii, The race of learned men, Still at their
      books. 1821 LAMB Elia Ser. 1, The Two Races of Men, The men who
      borrow, and the men who lend. 1875 JOWETT Plato (ed. 2) V. 56 There
      arose a new race of poets..who made pleasure the only criterion of
      excellence.

      Note in particular the last 3 examples: I have certainly run into the
      two races of men, "The men who borrow, and the men who lend."

      Perhaps they are forerunners of Steiner's prediction of two races in
      the future, one evil and one good? I was puzzled by some of the
      peculiar reactions to that quote as it is obvious that his use of the
      word "race" in that context had nothing to do with physical
      attributes or with appearance. But "obvious" is in the eye of the
      beholder.

      Anyone else have a word they would like defined?

      Deborah
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