Coin Devaluation Term

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Apr 5 00:49:03 UTC 2002

At 6:01 PM -0500 4/4/02, Mark A Mandel wrote:
>On Thu, 4 Apr 2002, Grant Barrett said to himself as the rest of us
>listened in:
>#> I cannot for the life of me remember the phrase we discussed some time ago
>#> that is used to describe the situation in which the face value of a coin is
>#> worth less than the metal contained to make the coin, usually resulting in
>#> the coins disappearing as they are sold for scrap.
>#Answer to my own question: Gresham's Law.
>AFAIR Gresham's Law is more general, at least in its simplified
>phrasing, "Bad money drives out good".
>-- Mark A. Mandel

And thus naturally extendible to cover taboo avoidance in linguistic
change, where "bad" meanings drive out "good" or innocent ones
(whence the disappearance of "ass" = 'donkey', "coney" = 'rabbit',
"cock" = 'rooster', Fr. "baiser" = 'kiss',...).


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