by the each

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 31 14:46:56 UTC 2014

<<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
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'

The American Dialect Society -

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