by the each

Jeff Prucher jprucher at YAHOO.COM
Sat Feb 1 23:59:03 UTC 2014

I finally was able to get to DARE, which lists this as:

each, by the. adv phr
Individually, singly.
1969 DARE (QR p52) Inf IL97, Buy them [=individually wrapped candies] by the each.

 DARE only includes one citation, from the DARE questionnaire, by
informant IL97 (white female homemaker with college education from Arlington Heights, IL; born 1923,
interviewed in 1969). But I'm sold that it's a regionalism, or at least a non-standard Americanism. YMMV.


> On Friday, January 31, 2014 8:34 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: by the each
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I suspect, everyone is making it much too complicated. But, as usual, I
> could be wrong... ;-)
> I've seen this regularly at some stores and not others. At other stores
> you might see "per" instead of "by the". Different
> databases, different
> labels. My guess would be that it's just a database artifact. Rather
> than programming different text for different types of labels based on
> different packaging/weighing options, there is a single code system for
> those and the text "by the" is printed with all the units. So you get,
> "by the lb", "by the oz", "by the each", "by
> the 2-pack", "by the case",
> etc. This reduces database entries to short labels, or, potentially,
> single numbers that represent those labels, e.g., 0=each, 1=lb, 2=oz.,
> etc. The clue is that this is the kind of thing you might see at Walgreens.
> My personal views that this has little, if any, linguistic significance.
>      VS-)
> On 1/31/2014 9:46 AM, W Brewer wrote:
>>  <<banana by the each .24>>
>>  Looks like a blend of two English constructions, extending (1) to cover
> (2):
>>  (1) <buy/sell bananas by the pound, bunch, boatload>;
>>  (2) <buy/sell bananas 33 cents each>
>>  Taiwan Chinese store signs & colloquial usage have a single pattern for
> the
>>  two contexts:
>>  Written signs:
>>  (a) <<Xiangjiao, 32/jin>> 'banana, NT$32/jin'. Roughly,
> <US$1 for each
>>  pound of bananas>.
>>  (b) <<Xiangjiao, 10/zhi>> 'banana, NT$10/zhi. Roughly,
> <US$.33 for each
>>  banana>.
>>  Spoken colloquial:
>>  (c) <<Xiangjiao yi-jin 32-yuan>> 'banana one-jin NT$32'
>>  (d1) <<Xiangjiao yi-gen 10-yuan>> 'banana one-MW NT$10'
> (gen = measure word
>>  for bananas).
>>  (d2) <<Xiangjiao mei-gen 10-yuan>> 'banana each-MW
> NT$10'
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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