Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 11:09:27 -0500
Subject: tipping -Reply

E.W. Gilman egilman[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]WEBSTER.M-W.COM 0408.0430
It occurs to me that it is curious that no one to my knowledge has pointed
out the illogicality of the supposed acronymic source--to insure
promptness--of the word tip. How could money given after the meal or
whatever is consumed insure prompt service? If the tip were given first,
maybe, but some of the tips I have given over the years would only
insure dilatoriness.

This counter-argument, at least, fails my reality test. Sure, a stranger
passing through the only place in the country with such a box couldn't
benefit from it, nor the waiters (or whatever) from him. But:

a. Repeat customers stand to benefit from a reputation as good tippers
(or even more so, discriminating tippers!). Consider the farmer who
comes to market every week or every month, or the drummer (traveling
salesman) on a regular route.

b. If the custom is widespread, then even the passer-through can be
expected with some confidence to know about it, and to tip after good
service -- or, conversely, to tip in the expectation of good service. You
may read "hope" for "expect(ation)" here, since the one-time transaction
depends on trust.

Mind yez, I do not support the purportive acronymic origin! I'm just trying
to keep the counter-arguments clean.

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200
320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :
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