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Hi,

A king/queen size of mattress alone cannot be called a set. Correct?

Is it true that a set always consists of more than one component (i.e. at least two components)?
For instance, a king set consists of two components: a mattress + springs;
a TV set consists of many components: transistors + resistors + capacitors + printed circuit boards + screen + power connector + remote control + ......

Thanks,

Note: In math, a set may contain any number of element(s) or even without any element (i.e. empty set). 0, 1, 2, 3, ........
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Hi MTL,
Yes, you're right, a set is always a group of things, items, ... Here is the definition and examples from the Cambridge online.

set (GROUP) [Show phonetics]
noun [C]
1 a group of similar things that belong together in some way:
We bought Charles and Mandy a set of cutlery as a wedding present.
I always keep a tool set in the back of my car.
The doctor said that he hadn't seen this particular set of symptoms before.
We need to establish a new set of priorities.

2 a number of items or pieces of equipment needed for a particular activity, especially playing a game:
a chess/train/chemistry set

3 SPECIALIZED In mathematics, a set is a group of objects with stated characteristics.

set [Show phonetics]
group noun [C]
a group of people who have similar interests and ways of living:
the London set
She's got in with a very arty set.
The smart set is/are going to the Caprice restaurant this season.

As you know, a set in math can have no object. When it comes to the professional language, words do not necessarily follow thier linguistic restrictions, they are defined by the rules of math for example, or any other field they are being used in. I'm thinking of another example and I'll add it here as soon as something comes to my mind.

However, there was seperate scense introducing the TV set both in the Cobuild and the Cambridge.
Here is the definition from the Cobuild:
A set is an appliance. For example a television set is a television.
So as you see, we do not consider a TV to be a set of transistors, screen,.... May be it was this notion that gave the existance to a TV set, but it is not a part of its definition or meaning anymore.
Hope it helps,
Cheers,
Hi,

I think some of the questions were not really answered.

A queen set means a mattress plus springs. (two components)

A TV set doesn't mean a TV plus something else. A TV set simply means a TV.

I'm wondering why a TV set is so named a set? The only thing that comes to my mind is that a TV set contains a lot of components inside its box,such as transistors, resistors, capacitors etc. But I'm not so sure that's the right idea.

Thanks,
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Hi MTL,
Your fiest question was answered already answered in both this thread and the previous one that you had sent a few days ago, it's not necessary to confirm it again unless you've got it wrong. But it's ok. As you see in my answer and CalifJim, a set always consists of components, in your example, a queen set includes mattress and .....
The "appliance" sense, or TV in your example, however, doesn't consist of components, it's a unit. Though, it's possible it's called set in the first place because it consists of transistors,.... It's most likely this reason for referring to it as a set, but when we say "a TV set", we donot mean the same set we are referring to seperate pieces of queen set, a chess set,...
I hope that it helps.
Cheers,
I'd like to see a second opinion from native speakers.
I think CalifJim is a native speaker. Anyway, you can wait till another one comes across your thread.
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Hi Mean,

I'm a native speaker, and agree with Jim and LL Emotion: smile
Hi Abbie,

Please answer my questions one by one.

1. A king/queen size of mattress alone cannot be called a set. Correct?

2. Is it true that 'a set' always consists of more than one component (i.e. at least two components)?

For instance,
a king set consists of two components: a mattress + springs;
a chess set consists of many pieces;
a train set -- not sure what it is, but I think it consists of many pieces;
a chemitry set -- not sure what it is, but I think it consists of many pieces;
the London set - probably means some fellows live or from London;
arty set - probably means artists (at least two);
smart set - probably means smart guys (at least two).

3. The most troublesome term is 'TV set.' A TV set doesn't mean a TV + a VCR + a DVD player. A TV set simply means a TV. So, I'm wondering why a TV set is so named a set? The only thing that comes to my mind is that a TV set contains a lot of components inside its box,such as transistors, resistors, capacitors etc. But I'm not so sure that's why it's so named. What do you think? Love to hear from you.

Thanks for LL's comments also
Hi Mean,

I really don't know what I can add to LL & Jim's responses to you.

1. A king/queen size of mattress alone cannot be called a set. Correct? *** correct

2. Is it true that 'a set' always consists of more than one component (i.e. at least two components)? *** correct

a king set consists of two components: a mattress + springs; *** correct

a chess set consists of many pieces; *** correct

a train set -- not sure what it is, but I think it consists of many pieces; *** correct
(a 'train set' is a child's toy comprising a railway and trains with carriages)

a chemitry set -- not sure what it is, but I think it consists of many pieces; *** correct (again, a toy for older children with which hey can conduct basic and safe chemistry experiments at home)

the London set - probably means some fellows live or from London; ***'set' in this sense means a particular group of people who have interests in common.

arty set - probably means artists *** see above

smart set - probably means smart guys *** see above

"The most troublesome term is 'TV set.' "

LL was quite right in her explanation; this is the definition from Webster

Set "an apparatus of electronic components assembled so as to function as a unit, e.g. TV set.
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