i heart learning

i heart learning

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

too sense vrs two cents

English expressions are crazy and non-sensical. Sometimes I must explain them to poor Nelson the francophone with the english name:

Or Lyndsey, the both-o-phones:

And sometimes they must be explained to me - the anglophone with the francophone name.
Today was once such day - and here is the expression in question:

If someone would like to add their opinion, is it two cents? Or too sense? Two sense? They sound the same - so I have always said it properly without odd stares or giggles (like how you can say their, there, or they're and not be wrong until you have to write it in a sentence). And today I needed to write too sense/two cents down when logging the show I am working on.
So which is it? 'Too sense' seems to make more sense because someone may be adding sense to a conversation. Maybe even 'two sense' then! Two people trying to make sense! 'Two cents' makes no sense. Why would someone pay to interject? My bets were on the 'two sense.'

At the risk of humiliating myself, I decided to ask an open room of peeps - and got the answer from someone I don't know very well.

'It's two cents, I'm sure' Kelly said.
Then she googled it to confirm. (ahhh google. This blog would be about questions every day if google did not exist to answer them).
'Yes, two cents. Says here that it comes from betting in poker in the old days - it cost two cents in the ante to join in the game.'
So there I have it. Kelly didn't give me the 'You're a dumbass' look, but maybe she was feeling it inside.

Online it also offers 'penny for your thoughts' as another explanation....like you ask someone for their opinion and you get more than you asked for. Two pennies for their thoughts. Two cents!
Logic is fun.

I also learned online that these expressions that don't make any literal sense are called 'idioms.' And there are tons I have never heard of but exist:
  • A lick and a promise.
  • All cats are grey in the dark
  • Tall enough to hunt geese with a rake
  • flat out like a lizzard drinking
  • salad days
  • jam on your face
  • jam tomorrow (i remember carol channing singing this! It means better things will come tomorrow!)
Some I use frquently but never think about are:

  • happy-go-lucky
  • jump the shark
  • wake up and smell the coffee
  • join the club
  • dumb as a doorknob
  • rolling over in their grave
  • teach an old dog new tricks
How fun to picture them as literal visuals!


  1. Remember when we argued over case in point (the correct saying) and point in case (what you thought it was)

  2. Yes.
    This debate was hotter than hiroshima.
    I still think one makes a point in their case...but who can argue with the dictionary?

  3. Becca, your dad's opinion on the "too sense" is that the too is wrong it should be "to". I think that you have inherited my lousy (two) sense of spelling! Dad says that you spelt lizard wrong. I though it was spelt that way too. Hey, but what do I know.

  4. you know your blog is boring when your readersfocus on your spelling mistakes. Mom, you are alone on the lizard spelling - it is simply a type-o. I have always known it is one z. blizzard is double z.

  5. You guys are funny! Reading this makes me miss my fam and the insignificant things we discuss - especially Dad (sorry but true). Maybe that means we're boring too? Never a dull moment.

  6. This site put a smile on my face! Also I now know that I used the correct spelling of two cents! Thanks

  7. Love the title of your blog and your chipper writings... made my day :)