Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Fri Jan 28 15:36:10 UTC 2005

> It's a word I've heard but not often, and the only use
> I've heard has been in connection with governments
> monetizing their debts by printing increasingly
> (decreasingly?) worthless money, as in pre-WWII
> Germany.  The sentence Bethany posted doesn't really
> make sense to me, as I understand the meaning of the
> word.

It's very common in the business world in a slightly different sense than
that given in the OED (whose definition and examples focus on debt and
financial instruments), meaning to find a way to charge money for something
that had previously been provided for free, to convert a "cost center" into
a "P and L" (profit and loss center). This appears to be the sense used in
the quote at the start of the thread. Another example:

"I'd like to answer once and for all the question, 'how does Sun monetize
Java?' with a historical reference: the same way GE and General Motors have
monetized standard rails, Vodafone monetizes GSM, banks monetize ATM
networks, and oil and gas companies monetize the fact that my car can use
'gas.'" 12 July 2004,

--Dave Wilton
  dave at

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