End of ADS-L Digest - 10 Jan 1998 to 11 Jan 1998 ************************************************ Subject: ADS-L Digest - 11 Jan 1998 to 12 Jan 1998 There are 10 messages totalling 642 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. change of a ten (2) 2. Just barely on topic 3. woty makes washington post 4. ...NOT! (2) 5. skell? (3) 6. WOTY ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 11:42:25 -0500 From: Mark Mandel Subject: change of a ten I *thought* that expression sounded familiar, though not quite what I think would roll right off my tongue today, and Greg Downing pinpointed the origin of it for me: >>> I've heard it fairly often in NYC, where "change for/of a dollar" came up commonly on buses throughout the 70s, 80s and early-to-mid 90s due to the requirement to pay the fare in exact change using coins only (one doesn't hear it so much now that people have started to pay the fare with a dip-card). I always imagined the "for"-construction emphasized the exchange aspect of making change, and the "of"-construction stated a more vague relationship between a ten and whatever you could (ex)change it for. <<<<<< "I *vas* dere, Sharley", and I remember the situation; and I'll hesitantly suggest an alternative explanation for the difference between "of" and "for" here. Normally you ask "Do you have change for an X(-coin/bill)?" when you are paying someone an amount, y, that is considerably less than (the value of an) X. The intended recipient need not have $X in smaller units to be able to answer "yes" and give you your change, only $(X - y). But on the bus you are not asking the driver, who cannot give you change, but other passengers; and you are asking if they can give you exactly $X in appropriate smaller units so that you can give the driver y (leaving you with X - y).* And that may be the difference that the change in preposition was meant to capture: "Can you give me X in change, in EXchange for an X?", rather than "Can you give me the difference between X and the value of my purchase, in exchange for an X and my purchase?" * Nit-pickers' note: You might well be asking the passengers for a different X than you would be asking the driver for if he could make change: e.g., if fare = $1.20 and you have only bills and quarters. Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]dragonsys.com Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com/ Personal home page: http://world.std.com/~mam/