July 30, 2006

"My 2 cents"

False modesty, perhaps. One of those things people say without thinking what they mean. "It's only little-ol'-me; pay no attention to what I say". Why write it, then? Why tell me it's next to worthless after I've read it? I already know that.

The theory that the expression arose because that was at one time the postage required for a letter to the editor seems to me unlikely: what possible mental process could assign a text a monetary value equal to the amount of postage required to send it by mail?

"It may not be worth much, but it's my opinion". Well, I know it's your opinion if you signed it, and why don't you let me be the judge of what it's worth to me and whether I ever want to spend any more of my valuable time reading what you write?

Are you saying I'm an idiot for spending any time reading something so cheap? I don't appreciate that. Do you think potential publishers will not show enough contempt for your writings so that you have to make a start by doing it yourself?

In my opinion it is a silly and unnecessary expression. I recommend its abolition.


Pacian said...

Rather than abolition, might I suggest its preservation in a museum, as a warning to future generations?

paris parfait said...

You're right, it is a silly expression - like so many others that have become part of our vernacular. Perhaps it survives simply because it originated from another era - and nostalgia keeps it going?

Yodood said...

As seems to be the case with most western culture versions of things common with the east, perhaps the demeaning function of "only my 2¢ worth" is a crude, numerical, monetary, irritating version of the eastern stress on not having a prideful face with expressions like, "in my humble opinion…" or "I offer my meager skills…"

I dig your writing although I am just beginning. With your archives dating back to '02, I have a bit of catching up to do. Expect more comments in future. Keep on keepin' on.

joe said...
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