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Someone told me that it is incorrect to say "Set the threshold to a higher value". Instead, it should be "Set the threshold as a higher value" because if a specific number does not come after "set", like "Set the threshold to 0", it sounds awkward. Is he right?

closed as off-topic by NVZ, Chenmunka, Phil Sweet, Mitch, curiousdannii Sep 4 '16 at 0:11

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  • Have you tried googling "to a higher value" and "as a higher value"? – Edwin Ashworth Sep 2 '16 at 8:34
  • Set to is idiomatic for making a measuring device take on a particular value. Set as is rarely used, and it means something different, namely to make on thing take on the characteristics of another: set gold as a common currency. – deadrat Sep 2 '16 at 8:39
  • I don't get it. What's the difference, orally or grammatically, between "Set the threshold to [a specific value]" and "Set the threshold to a higher value? For example, "Set the the threshold to 3.14159265358979 volts" versus "Set the threshold to a higher voltage". – Richard Kayser Sep 2 '16 at 9:27
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Contrary to your impression the usage of set to number is much more idiomatic than set as number. Have a look at this ngram.

Makes me bigger!

All the popular versions of set as are dwarfed by the set to usages.

  • How about set at? – Richard Kayser Sep 2 '16 at 9:58
  • Absolutely not. The two are not truly comparable. 'Set the threshold as a higher value" because if a specific number does not come after "set", like "Set the threshold to 0", it sounds awkward. Is he right? – Robbie Goodwin Sep 16 '16 at 23:09
  • Absolutely not. The two are not really comparable. 'Set the threshold 𝘢𝘴 a higher value" implies that whatever the vallue, the threshold should be changed for the purpose of future comparison with other values. The point is the process of comparison, not the value itself. 'Set the threshold 𝘵𝘰 ' 0 or anything else, makes the point the specific value, rahter than the process. – Robbie Goodwin Sep 16 '16 at 23:17

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