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Is "the album had a good run" correct to mean that it was an enjoyable listen? Or will it be confused with the idea that many copies were sold of the album?

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I'd definitely confuse it and think that it means many copies were sold, but I've also never heard this expression before. –  alexlo Jun 14 '13 at 18:15
    
What if someone just recommended you the album, and this phrase was your response? –  Dinj Jun 14 '13 at 18:26
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@Dinj: If that's the context, you should include that in your question. Also, if that's the context, I'd interpret that to mean that the album was a flash in the pan - it was fun to listen to for awhile, but it's getting "tired" now. –  J.R. Jun 14 '13 at 18:58
    
I see, then it's not the right term to use in my case. –  Dinj Jun 14 '13 at 19:10

1 Answer 1

The basic idiom is have a good run [for the money], meaning to be successful [in return for effort]. It's an allusion to running a race with an entrance fee, and winning a prize worth more than that.

Thus if a record company executive said the album had a good run it's just possible he meant the company's profits were significantly higher than the costs of production and distribution.

But most likely the sense intended would reflect the usage in "The Mousetrap" has had a long run (Agatha Christie's play, which is the longest running show of the modern era).

Probably people do find the album enjoyable, and many copies were sold. But these are really just implicit because of the "primary" sense - it continued to sell for longer than the average album.

We normally use this (or these, if you want to separate the two senses) idioms in the past tense (something had a good run, but now it's over).


It would of course be possible for the owner of a copy of the album to say it's had a good run. Probably he's not planning to listen to it much in the future, but only context can say whether that's because the media itself is worn out, or because he's just tired of listening to it.

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