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Which one of the following is correct?

  • Cricket chauvinism runs across two axes, those of nation and generation.
  • Cricket chauvinism runs on two axes, those of nation and generation.
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Neither; even metaphorically, things don't "run across" or "run on" axes, they generally either "run along" axes or "revolve around", "revolve on", "turn around" or "turn on" axes.

Here is a Google Ngram showing that "revolve around", "revolve on", and "run along" are all used, but that "run on" and "run across" are rare.

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...or run along them. – Brett Reynolds Mar 17 '12 at 14:48
@Brett; yes, "runs along two axes" is undoubtedly the preposition the OP was looking for. – Peter Shor Mar 17 '12 at 15:24
It's worth noting that 3 of the 7 instances of "runs across two axes" in Google Books are OP's quoted reference. The sensible choice, "runs along two axes" seems to have about 16 distinct citations. @Peter - why don't you add that to your answer text and save yourself some downvotes? – FumbleFingers Mar 17 '12 at 18:08
It's interesting that without the expected "runs along" I immediately interpreted "runs across" to mean "happens upon" and "axes" to mean the tools used to chop down trees- and then had the hardest time trying to make sense of the sentence. I might also suggest that "varies along" is common when discussing the range and domain of functions. – Jim Mar 17 '12 at 21:48

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