Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Cryptic Comment from a Colleague

"There's no such thing as extra. There is more and there is less, but there is no extra."



Martin said...

That sounds a bit like physics to me. The first law of thermodynamics; a zero-sum system.
More or less, never extra.

Of course, I'm not a physicist. I'm a rhetor and a language theorist. So my question, which for now remains unanswered, is:
"More", "less" and "extra" in relation to what?
"Extra" seems to denote something outside of an accepted or known quantity, though...

James R Ament said...

The "extra" sounds like the mythical "Giving 110%" of effort to some activity. It implies a mystical addition based on "heart." But if one gives it his all and dies at the finish line of a race, it's still only 100%.

Kevin B. O'Reilly said...

Your colleague seems to be rejecting that there exist "usual, normal, expected, or necessary" amounts of things. In the bigger picture, your colleague may be right. But day to day I think there can be commonly understood definitions of the "usual" amount of a thing, and that to want more of the thing is to desire "extra."

Glen Whitman said...

My interpretation (my colleague didn't explain what he meant) is that he was talking about equilibrium, particular in a supply-and-demand context. "Extra" seems to imply a surplus of something, which should be eliminated if prices can change. At an equilibrium price, there will be exactly as much as people demand at that price, with nothing extra. Even if prices are not flexible, other aspects of the transaction (such as product characteristics) will adjust until there is nothing "extra."

Mike Baird said...

I can help out in the particular. I'll leave it to the econonmists to generalize.

There are no extra cigarettes.

There is no extra beer.

I have never met anyone with extra money.

Jeffrey said...

Was he paraphrasing Yoda?

James said...

That seems to be along the lines of these two popular dialogues:

Q:Do you have any spare change?

A: No, everything I have seems to be what I call "my money."

Q: Got an extra cigarette?

A: No, I get twenty to the pack, same as everybody else.

sakthi said...

I think extra is existing..Take this example,If you getting $10,000 as your salary in a month,perhaps you very well planned to live with this money.But after you get promotion or increment you'll get some extra money,say $5000..the point is you never treat this money as extra, you'll find several ways to spend this money and after some time you're budget reach to $15000 per month..That is what I'm saying extra is existing until you get it in your hand after you got, it becomes necessary...
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