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A FEW BOB SHORT OF A POUND

 
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cdj1122
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: A FEW BOB SHORT OF A POUND Reply with quote

Have any of our UK members heard of this McDonald's advertisement ?

Michael Quinlan mentions it in a recent blog entry;
Quote:
Thanks to Ernie Freeman, I heard of a
minor linguistic spat over a TV advertisement by McDonalds in the
UK.
It promotes the Pound Saver Menu and begins, "the pound, also
known as one bob".
He goes on to explain for the benefit of those unfamiliar with British slang and its pre-decimal currency, that:
Quote:
It isn't. A bob, in "old money" before the UK
went decimal in 1971, was a shilling, or five pence in "new money"
(as we called it at the time). Twenty shillings made a pound.

What interests me is if in fact locals did get McDonald's to produce one of its Pound Saver meals for the current 5 pence.
Quote:
Money-conscious locals with an impish urge to provoke have been
asking McDonalds if they can have the Menu for five pence.
In Suffolk County, on Long Island, in New York State, with its very strong consumer protection laws, McDonalds would be in a bad way and have to either live up to its advertisement or face a fine.
Michael continues;
Quote:
A McDonalds spokesman proved the truth of the adage that when in a hole, one should stop digging. He was quoted in an item on Sky
News: "Although a 'bob' was formerly used as a slang term for the
shilling until the introduction of decimalisation in 1971, research
has shown it is now more commonly used as slang for a pound or
money in general." Up to a point. Older British people still use
phrases like "that's worth a few bob" for an unspecified but
moderately large sum of money. But never for a pound. No way.

World Wide Words is copyright (c) Michael Quinion 2010.
So I wonder how this kind of offer would be handled in the UK ?
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Gooner
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never in my lifetime have I ever heard of a "bob" being referred to as a pound it has always been one shilling.

As for how we would handle the advert - probably ignore it as a typical ignorant yank marketing ploy (no offence meant - most marketing Brits are just as obnoxious). Something we are quite used to here.

To be honest, advertising has become so ludicrous over the last 10 years or so - I am not convinced it does the job it is intended to do - i.e. awaken the consciousness of the buyer to a product. In my case an advertising break on TV is used to put the kettle on, go for a smoke, use the bathroom - whatever and newspaper adverts might as well not be there as far as I am concerned. A personal opinion only of course.

I have rarely purchased something because of a speculative advert, recommendations from others (who maybe saw an advert I guess) - yes.

The only time that comes to mind that I might be swayed from this is when I am going positively to look for something - i.e. a new PC or a holiday.

Think I went a bit off-topic there but hey its a boring Sunday afternoon, cold, dark and snowing.
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cdj1122
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gooner wrote:
Never in my lifetime have I ever heard of a "bob" being referred to as a pound it has always been one shilling.
That is what I thought. I have only been to Britain a few times but have read quite a bit from the Sherlock series to articles from the Manchester Guardian and I have never heard of it either.
That is why I was curioius.
Quote:


As for how we would handle the advert - probably ignore it as a typical ignorant yank marketing ploy (no offence meant - most marketing Brits are just as obnoxious). Something we are quite used to here.
None taken.
Quote:


To be honest, advertising has become so ludicrous over the last 10 years or so - I am not convinced it does the job it is intended to do - i.e. awaken the consciousness of the buyer to a product. In my case an advertising break on TV is used to put the kettle on, go for a smoke, use the bathroom - whatever and newspaper adverts might as well not be there as far as I am concerned. A personal opinion only of course.

I have rarely purchased something because of a speculative advert, recommendations from others (who maybe saw an advert I guess) - yes.

The only time that comes to mind that I might be swayed from this is when I am going positively to look for something - i.e. a new PC or a holiday.

Think I went a bit off-topic there but hey its a boring Sunday afternoon, cold, dark and snowing.
I suspect that the plethora of radio and TV ads as well as the constant bombardment of other media commercials can make a person somewhat numb to the claims and promises.
.
I see that here in Florida, TV commercials have begun to be mini-soap operettas with reoccuring themes and sequential storie lines. I have made it a habit to record almost anything I want to enjoy and then later skip through the commercials unless there is something that cqtches my eye. Even so far btoo many commercials get through to my consciousness. But I cannot think of anything that I have purchased after seeing a commercial that I would not have bought without one.
.
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Cbarnhorst
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before we all conclude that the advert was stupid, note that the error got attention and that is exactly what an advert is supposed to do, even when for unintended reasons. The ad is sadly memorable.

On another note, I hate what has become of the language in the hands of admen and sports broadcasters in the past couple of decades. Especially in phrases like "more full" instead of the perfectly good (as well as pleasanter sounding) "fuller."
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Brummie Bill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grew up with decimalisation (although I was born in 1964).
To me a pound is called a "quid" and not a bob.
A bob has always been a shilling = 5 new pence!
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Gooner
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You probably won't remember "a tanner" then Bill... silver (very little if any silver in it mind) 6d (2p).

One of the few coins to still be valid for some time after decimalisation as well for some reason.
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cdj1122
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You probably won't remember "a tanner" then Bill... silver (very little if any silver in it mind) 6d (2p).

One of the few coins to still be valid for some time after decimalisation as well for some reason.

.
That's a memory cue.
I just recalled that I have a box full of miscellaneous coins accumulated when I was sailing and especially a group, by date, of those old large copper penny and h'pennys as well as quite a few crowns, five mark and two and a half guilder silver coins. That is real silver. I will have to dig them out and show the kids.
I think I have several from early in Victoria's reign and at least one William IV from about 1836.
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Brummie Bill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gooner wrote:
You probably won't remember "a tanner" then Bill... silver (very little if any silver in it mind) 6d (2p).

One of the few coins to still be valid for some time after decimalisation as well for some reason.


I do remember the tanner and the thruppeny bit. The tanners were put in Christmas puddings!
I vividly remember seeing "new money" for the first time as they were all bright and shiny.

I also remember the first Machins. My dad collected stamps and he used to show us the first day covers he received. He was quite excited about the Machins. I never took much interest at the time.
Sadly he died a few years ago and I inherited his collection - and now I'm hooked! I'm actually taking it a lot more seriously that he did!
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BrianT
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The tanners were put in Christmas puddings!


You must have been very rich. The tradition was to put " Silver" threepenny pieces in the pud.

And the mighty dollar was 5/-.

Brian.
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RogerB
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit late, but galvanised into action by the 3rd anniversary EMail! See - it does work!!
I'm surprised in all the discussion about bobs and tanners that nobody's mentioned the guinea - a peculiar bit of British eccentricity if ever there was one! It wasn't a coin - at least not in living memory (my guess is that it disappeared some time in the 1800s) but there were certain things - clothes and racehorses spring to mind - that were always priced in guineas. One guinea had the value of one pound and one shilling, or 1.05 in today's phoney money. A suit of clothes might be priced at 5 guineas, which I supposed looked posher that five quid (pounds). If it wasn't given in words, it would be 5/5/0. The number of shillings was always the same as the number of pounds, which was easy up to 20 guineas (=21), but was a bit more difficult if you were buying a race horse for 10,000 guineas - you had to work it out, and there were no pocket calculators around in those days.
The other oddity was the farthing - a quarter of a penny. The penny, mind you, still had value for a youngster - there were many an agonised minute spent deciding which sweet or biscuit it would buy this week - but the farthing was about on a par with a one euro (or, I suppose, a 1 US cent) coin - except as a marketing tool; again, clothes and haberdashery items come to mind - they would be priced at nineteen shillings and elevenpence three farthings - it sounds much cheaper than a pound, but the change you got wasn't worth much! It's the same today when things are priced at 9.95 rather than 10 - who do they think they're fooling?
Farthings, incidently, were a rude word in our home for a very long time - I was collecting them when it was obvious that they weren't going to last much longer, and then my mother ran out of change to pay the milkman (do they still deliver to the doorstep and come round once a week for payment?) and rifled through my treasures box and gave him the lot. The spirit of Christian forgiveness came hard for a young lad suffering that!
Otherwise, happy days, when half a crown (2/6 or 12p) from a visiting uncle was riches beyond the dreams of avarice, as they say, and sovereigns somethings that only rich industrialists talked about, although they do still mint them - at considerably more cost than their 1 legal tender! Did I see then on offer at about 400 recently? Interesting, also, that half crowns lasted until the end, while crowns (5/0) disappeared years before!
Enough reminiscences from a grumpy old man - I'm off to bed, and looking forward to sorting out tomorrow all the new Machins in the Deegam Reports 87 and 88 which came today! And aren't the George V reprints superb?
The guinea, by the way, was officially abolished on decimalisation in 1971, although one suspects that horsey circles still use it, even if they can't now write cheques for xxx guineas!
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cdj1122
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember being puzzled by the Pounds / Guinea business till one of the Trinity House Pilots explained that they were used for luxury items that fell into the category "If you are concerned about the price, you can't afford the item".
.
On an earlier trip to Japan I had purchased a small two inch circular slide rule. Having been a math major, things like logarithms and slide rules were easy toys and I found that I could set the two discs on the exchange rate of whatever country I was visiting and glancing at the discs in my hand could quickly make the needed conversions. And if in a port like Rotterdam switching from a setting between Guilders and Dollars to Deutschmarks and Shillings, was equally easy. The best thing was that most people had no idea what I had in my hand or if they did see the white disc, even less idea of how it worked. I had that little gadget for about forty years.
It was also great for dealing with Time, Speed and Distance problems in the chartroom as we sailed along.
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Derek Burch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Especially in phrases like "more full" instead of the perfectly good (as well as pleasanter sounding) "fuller."


Charnhorst, I hope that you were joking in your February posting. "Fuller "has special meanings in several trades but is not a comparative word: "more full" is correct and perfectly acceptable. 'Fuller' is even harder to say than 'more full'.

Derek
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Derek Burch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin Barnhorst - my apologies for mistyping your "nom de forum" as Charnhorst. I stand by my ismissal of "fuller" though.

Derek
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cdj1122
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why we have erasers on keyboards and delete keys on pencils.
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Gooner
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing more edifying than reading a bunch of Americans discussing the usage of ENGLISH language. Cool
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cdj1122
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always a thrill to brighten your day.
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Derek Burch
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to use the delete key, you have to catch the error before posting. Funny how things are easier to read after they are committed to print...

And Dave, f.y.i., I am NOT American!

Derek
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Gooner
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "preview" button is your friend! I think I have posted a simple spell checker for IE and Firefox which I find useful.... as it underlines your incorrect spellings. If they have disappeared happy to post again...

Derek - you must be converted by now! Surprised

PS - Add your location into your profile.
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Raised stop
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: inflated Reply with quote

1 bob was always 1 shilling. Half a bob was a Tanner.
Pity the current Pound is only worth about a groat????
or maybe a tanner???
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