Nov 8, 2011

The Difference Between A Collection And A Set

I can often be found cruising around Etsy looking at items labeled as "Instant Collection." Often times I come across things listed as a "Collection" that are clearly a "Set." I figured it was time to set (pun intended) the record strait; What defines a collection? The line is fine and sometimes even I can't tell the difference.

A Set, in this regard (the word set has a multitude of meanings) is defined as "A group of things of the same kind that belong together," or more specifically; "a number of objects belonging together, often forming a unit or having certain features or characteristics in common." Example: Marv has a nice set of tools.

A Collection is defined as "the act or process of collecting,"  "something that is collected; a group of objects or an amount of material accumulated in one location, especially for some purpose or as a result of some process." Examples being: a stamp collection, a collection of unclaimed hats in the checkroom, a collection of books on Churchill.   

It still seems pretty vague, but what I gather from these dictionary definitions is that a set is usually made of items that befit each other, are born together or made compatible. The lable "collection" has more wiggle room. A collection is almost more meaningful than a set, as a collection was intentional. 
It's almost like brothers and sisters....(try to follow me here) brothers and sisters did not ask to be part of one anothers universe, but by happenstance they are in fact a "set" of siblings. But friends are a collection...we set out to create through a process of elimination a core assemblage of  mates. Please don't get me wrong here, brothers and sisters are just as meaningful as friends...and sometimes more so if your brothers and sisters are your friends. I might have taken this in the wrong direction, but it feels right.

I hope this cleared up some of the mystery. Feel free to share any comments or ideas. What does a collection mean to you?

Thank you to all the wonderful etsy sellers out there for the use of their stellar sets and collections which are all available for purchase.

1 comment:

  1. I think you nailed it--and thanks for including my Set--though I think I do love Collections best, since the buyer's creativity and taste really come into play.