Friday, March 30, 2012


Trying to make cents of it!

So at last we're saying goodbye to the one cent piece. None to soon, I say. It's always been a drag having those next-to-worthless coins well, 'drag' down a pocket or wallet.

The rumour of its demise has hovered for years. Many customers, when I was in the bookstore business, used to complain about the annoyance it caused. Or worse, from my side of it, wait while buyers counted out endless amounts of pennies when being paid for purchases. I'd often hear how Prince Edward Island residents managed quite well without the penny, thank you very much.

So, the day is fast approaching for the rest of the country. Time to bank those jars of saved pennies. Time to adjust to prices being rounded up. Time to be glad there will be fewer coins around.

I have two questions though. What will happen when shopping in the U.S.? Will it be like travel overseas? A last minute round of shopping frenzy to get rid of those last Euros and now, pennies? Will those coin dishes at the foreign exchange booths be overflowing with American cents when people travel back home to Canada?

And more importantly, what will become of some valued expressions like 'penny-ante', 'pennies from heaven', 'a penny for your thoughts?'? Will future generations simply not get it? Will it be up to writers to keep the old language alive in our books?

What phrases can you add to that list?

That's my two cents worth!

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. There are so many that you are right - we will have the younger generation soon giving us weird looks when we quote them. This will change the language & culture, & some will miss pennies for sure, not the least of which are charities :
    - in for a penny
    - spend a penny(Brit for go to the washroom)
    - pretty penny
    - penny picher
    - pennyweight(jewelers)
    - pennycandy(I used to get a whole bag of sweets for a quarter)
    - penny savers
    - penny wise
    - without 2 pennies to rub together
    Wow ! There are many more I'm sure. Fun!!