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a massive stand of cumulus cloud

hirashin

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Dear friends,
I need your help.
What does the "a massive stand of cumulus cloud" mean? I can't find its suitable meaning in any dictionary.
Does it mean "a large mass of clouds" ?

This was at the edge of the Westerhazys' pool. The pool, fed by an artesian well with a high iron content, was a pale shade of green. It was a fine day. In the west there was a massive stand of cumulus cloud so like a city seen from a distance—from the bow of an approaching ship—that it might have had a name. Lisbon. Hackensack.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

hirashin

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How about this?
"We have a massive stand of melons this year that are starting to run and looking fantastic, can’t wait."

I think "cumulus cloud" and "melons" are totally different in nature. Can you say "a massive stand of melons", too?
 

johnnyG

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Stand is used in forestry: Stand level modelling - Wikipedia for a group of trees"standing" together. The technical definition there is, "...a contiguous community of trees sufficiently uniform in composition, structure, age and size class distribution, spatial arrangement, site quality, condition, or location to distinguish it from adjacent communities." Or, a group of trees that are about the same. Referring to a stand of trees is probably the most common use of the word. Note that it is a classifier, like a pack of cigarettes, a flock of geese, or two pots of tea.

Trees can stand tall, remain standing thru a storm, etc., or when they are no longer standing, they have fallen, been cut/blown down, have fallen, and so on. Besides trees, you can have a standing army, standing orders/instructions, a standing invitation, and so on.

I guess since cumulus clouds are tall--they grow upwards, and some cells in the tropics can reach many thousands of meters--they can be referred to as standing. Based on the above definition for trees, a stand of cumulus clouds would be a group of those clouds, and add massive for a particularly large group. (Since they're cumulus, they're already going to be similar size, structure, composition, and easily distinguishable from other types of clouds.)

Melons don't stand upright, nor are they erect, and you could roll one around and would never say that it had fallen down or fallen over.
 

johnnyG

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What do pencils, hats, and umbrellas have in common?

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Square+Umbrella+Stand.jpg


r125x.jpg
 

johnnyG

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(but please don't ask about a one-night stand...)

:emoji_slight_smile:
 

johnnyG

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Yes, out of the blue, "a stand of melons" sounds off to me, but in context there, in the link to the farmer's market PR, I'd understand.

Let me explore this and get back to you, maybe I'm going to learn something new here!
 

johnnyG

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Stand - definition of stand by The Free Dictionary
I see this:
40. (Botany) a growth of plants in a particular area, esp trees in a forest or a crop in a field
...which seems broad enough to include the possibility of a melon crop.

Longman gives an example using trees:
9 TREES, a group of trees of one type growing close together, stand of, a stand of eucalyptus trees

There's this, with a lot of variety in the examples:
Stand
a suit or set, as of soldiers, clothes; a suit of armour; a hive of bees; astud of horses; an assemblage of game birds.
Examples: stand of armour (a suit); of bees; of bells, 1534; of birds, 1881; of sugarcane, 1887; of clothes; of planted cotton, 1904; of flamingoes; of horses, 1711; ofchain mail, 1896; of needles (set of four); of pikes, 1598; of gold plover, 1882; ofplovers; of timber, 1767; of trees; of wheat, 1868.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Stand - definition of stand by The Free Dictionary

Similar to one above:
a growth of similar plants (usually trees) in a particular area
stand - Dictionary Definition : Vocabulary.com

Collins:
32. US
a growth of trees or plants
Stand definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

***

So I guess saying "a stand of melons" is okay...!

I have some other things to do, maybe I'll get back to this later, or tomorrow.
 

johnnyG

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Someone says that they grew up on a farm (Iowa-Nebraska), and it was very common to say "a good stand of corn."

Another comment is that "stand" is for something upright, like trees or corn, but that for melons "lay" might be better--"a good lay of melons", since they are stringing/spreading along the ground.

Does this help with your example? I'm not sure...



Of course, when you talk about melons--massive melons--to a certain class of americans at least, Dolly Parton's name will come up.

At that point the discussion veered into what a good stand, or a good lay, might be.
 

OoTmaster

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Of course, when you talk about melons--massive melons--to a certain class of americans at least, Dolly Parton's name will come up.

At that point the discussion veered into what a good stand, or a good lay, might be.

I don't think for people like me Dolly Parton and "a good lay" would end up in the same sentence. You have to have some self respect. Think I'll go have me a stand in the corner away from all you crazy people.
 

Majestic

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Just for another perspective on this: I have never heard this usage of "stand" for melons or clouds. It sounds unusual to me. My first thought was, "it must be a typographical error of strand". Looking at the various dictionary entries, I guess my vocabulary isn't as robust as I'd like to think. This usage of "stand" is new to me.
 

johnnyG

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A couple comments by people who seem to know farming:

Here in Iowa I've heard stand used for all kinds of crops all my life. If I heard someone say “stand of melons” I wouldn't notice it as odd. Since most of the state is planted in corn and soybeans I've never heard anyone speak of large melon crops. Maybe down around Muscatine where they are famous for melons one might hear the phrase but I don't know any farmers from that area.

If you plant 12,000 corn seeds to the acre, you get a pretty pitiful stand. Plant 35,000+ seeds to the acre and you'll get a crop.....barring complications with fertilizer, water, insect damage, ...

I'm from Illinois, definitely a corn/soybean state (with RoundUp commercials on TV), but I didn't grow up on a farm. And I've been away since about '82, so no chance since then to have heard stand in any native context--farmer's markets, etc. Using stand with melons therefore seems odd to me, but according to what I've found, it could pass for normal usage.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your great effort, jonnyG. I should have searched online dictionaries more. I appreciate it.
 

mdchachi

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Just for another perspective on this: I have never heard this usage of "stand" for melons or clouds. It sounds unusual to me. My first thought was, "it must be a typographical error of strand". Looking at the various dictionary entries, I guess my vocabulary isn't as robust as I'd like to think. This usage of "stand" is new to me.

Surely you've heard of a lemonade stand?
 

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