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  1. #1
    codenamecharlie is offline Newbie
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    Default two cents

    hi,

    i knew "two cents" could mean "opinion",
    e.g. "please put your two cents (worth) in".

    my questions:

    (1) why two cents stand for "opinion", it's quite strange, any historical reason for this?
    (2) why can we add a "worth" after "two cents", which makes it even more strange

    thanks :)

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    Soup's Avatar
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    Default Re: two cents

    Click here Two cents' worth

    See also

    165 "put in one's two cents' worth" (Phrase origins - alt.usage.english)

    Origin of Phrases - Have Origins

    ________________
    Note the apostrophe here, two cents' worth.

    Certain expressions relating to time, distance, and value also are written with an apostrophe.
    • a moment’s reflection
    • four months’ wages
    • one kilometer’s length
    • seven miles’ jog
    • a dollar’s cost
    • two cents’ worth

    http://www.tedmontgomery.com/punctuation/apstrphe.html

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    Default Re: two cents

    Additionally, you'll also come across the spellings two cents worth (no apostrophe) and two-cents worths (compound form). The apostrophe is not as common as it used to be, at least in the North American English.

    Note that,

    two cents' worth =
    two cents of worth

    ____________________
    From E-mediate Guides:
    Bill Bryson, one of the newer breed of grammar doctors, goes dogmatically in the other direction: "Many writers who would never think of omitting the apostrophe in 'a fair day's pay for a fair day's work' often do exactly that when the unit of measure is increased. Consider 'Laker gets further 20 days credit' ( Times headline), 'Mr Taranto, who had 30 years service with the company...' ( The New York Times ). Both 'days' and 'years' should carry an apostrophe. Alternatively we could insert an 'of' after the time elements ('30 days of credit', '19 years of service'). One or the other is necessary." (Bill Bryson, 1984/1987, Dictionary of Troublesome Words ,p177-8).

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