Flight of Stairs

This is a discussion thread · 4 replies
Matt Beckwith:
The term "flight of stairs" is used by many to mean those stairs which are between two floors, even if they are in two sets, with a landing in between.

To my mind, however, a flight of stairs is those stairs between two landings.

Merriam-Webster is no help, as it gives both definitions!

6 a : a continuous series of stairs from one landing or floor to another
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Ray Heindl:
[nq:1]The term "flight of stairs" is used by many to mean those stairs which are between two floors, even if they are in two sets, with a landing in between.[/nq]
I am one of those many, though I wouldn't use the term that way if it might cause confusion. If I were on the second floor directing someone to the third floor, I'd say "one flight up", regardless of any landings in between.
[nq:1]To my mind, however, a flight of stairs is those stairs between two landings. Merriam-Webster is no help, as it gives both definitions! 6 a : a continuous series of stairs from one landing or floor to another[/nq]
But that's not the same as the one "used by many". By M-W's definition (and the RHUD's, as well) a set of stairs from one floor to another with an intervening landing would be two flights -- one from floor A to the landing, and one from the landing to floor B.

-- Ray Heindl (remove the X to reply)
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Matt Beckwith:
[nq:1]If I were on the second floor directing someone to the third floor, I'd say "one flight up", regardless of ... would be two flights -- one from floor A to the landing, and one from the landing to floor B.[/nq]
Ray, if you quote 2 dictionaries which define a flight of stairs as the stairs between two landings, then why do you use it to mean the stairs between two floors? This is common, and it gets to me. If we use a word 2 different ways, who's to know what we mean?

Another term that is similarly ambiguous is bi-weekly. It can mean every 2 weeks, and it can mean 2 times a week. So the term is useless.
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R H Draney:
In article (Email Removed), "Matt says...
[nq:1]Ray, if you quote 2 dictionaries which define a flight of stairs as the stairs between two landings, then why ... bi-weekly. It can mean every 2 weeks, and it can mean 2 times a week. So the term is useless.[/nq]
In that case, the word "day" is useless, because it means both a 24-hour period and a sunlit period averaging twelve hours..r
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Peter Moylan:
[nq:2]If I were on the second floor directing someone to ... the landing, and one from the landing to floor B.[/nq]
[nq:1]Ray, if you quote 2 dictionaries which define a flight of stairs as the stairs between two landings, then why ... common, and it gets to me. If we use a word 2 different ways, who's to know what we mean?[/nq]
Ray seems to be in good company. We've just been told in another thread that "The 39 Steps" referred to something with 78 steps. (Although a running person might well take them two at a time.)

-- Peter Moylan (Email Removed) http://eepjm.newcastle.edu.au (OS/2 and eCS information and software)
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