Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 23:21:35 EST


Subject: Re: buck and a half

P.S. On "buck and a half": It might be worth noting that what I think of as

the ESPN English use of this expression is indeed the usage that shows up in

most of the other cases Dennis cites (e.g. weight--Deion Sanders weighs a buck

seventy [= 170 pounds] soaking wet, etc.), I think there's a more general

phenomenon illustrated by some of the money examples, since the restriction

Dennis observes (that these metaphorical extensions work only for contexts

between 100-199) doesn't hold for the cases where a sum involving a three

digit amount is presented as if it were 100 times less. Consider the old

nickel bag of dope (=$5.00), or a poker context where someone bets "30 bucks"

(=$3000). There's no restriction here to "a buck ___", and of course the

contexts aren't metaphorical in the same sense as weight, batting average,

time, or distance to the pin. Rather, there seems to be the tendency to pretend

you're talking peanuts as you toss those sums around. (I suspect a nickel bag

can also bring or cost $500 in the right context.)