RE: To coin a phrase

Subject: RE: To coin a phrase
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 12:48:56 -0700

Dana Worley wrote:

> Check again. To coin a phrase can also mean "to use a cliche".

No, it can't -- except ironically, deliberately stating the opposite of what's true, as when someone says "I could care less" when they really couldn't. In that case (as I suggested to Bill), in the absence of cues from facial expression and intonation, maybe the <fe /> tag should be employed. Or an appropriate smiley: ;-)

The verb "to coin" has a specific meaning. Unless you're Humpty Dumpty, you can't just use words to mean whatever you wish. Merriam-Webster has these definitions and examples:

Definition of COIN

transitive verb
1 a : to make (a coin) especially by stamping : mint
b : to convert (metal) into coins

2 : create, invent <coin a phrase>

- coin*er noun
- coin money
: to get rich quickly

See coin defined for English-language learners >

Examples of COIN

1. The coach coined the phrase "refuse to lose."
2. William Shakespeare is believed to have coined many words.
3. The nation plans to coin more money.

First Known Use of COIN
14th century


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-903-6372
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Re: To coin a phrase: From: Dana Worley

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