Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Reading the comments in this blog post I was a little confused when the first one said "sold". Why should he sell his game when they removed the copy protection with the first patch?

But it seems that the meaning of the comment was "I went to the shop and bought it". (Or I completely got it the wrong way.)

Can you help me? I always thought that selling is the opposite of buying.

share|improve this question
1  
You might want to change your guillemets to double-quotes; it's the English way of quoting. :-) –  Jez May 31 '11 at 9:56
1  
@Jez: But I like them! –  Cerberus May 31 '11 at 11:27
    
@Jez I know, but the correct quotes are not directly on my keyboard, whereas the Swiss ones are :) –  Simon A. Eugster May 31 '11 at 12:53
    
@Simon A. Eugster, really? I would say SHIFT+2 is pretty standard (datacal.com/popup.aspx?src=images/Product/large/307.jpg) –  Unreason May 31 '11 at 13:15
    
@Unreason But these (") are not english quotation marks, these are inch/zoll characters. –  Simon A. Eugster Jun 3 '11 at 13:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I believe that "Sold" in the first and second comment is short for "I'm sold on (something)", meaning "I'm convinced of (something's) value."

This seems to be an American-specific phrase; a quick look at Google NGrams for the phrase "I am sold on" shows it appearing in American English around 1880 and peaking in popularity in the 1940s. The same search for British English... shows nothing at all.

The earliest example I see - from 1917 - gives the sense of the phrase quite well:

"To say that I am sold on the Essex only half expresses how I feel after an eight hundred mile trip through western Tennessee," writes WH Claypool, sales manager of the Memphis Motor Car Co.

share|improve this answer
    
That also explains why I did not find it in my Oxford dictionary! Thank you for the answer. –  Simon A. Eugster Jun 3 '11 at 13:11

Sold and bought do indeed mean the opposite thing. In the case of the blog posts, the posters are probably using 'sold' as an interjection, to mean "you have successfully sold that to me". In other words, it means "you have convinced me of something's worth, and so I am prepared to buy it".

share|improve this answer
    
Yes, that's exactly how I understood it, but after reading this question, I started to doubt myself. "Sold" in this context makes sense until you start to analyze it... –  njd May 31 '11 at 10:39
    
"Sold" means something a little bit different, Jez. –  Thursagen May 31 '11 at 11:15
9  
I read "sold" as short for "I am sold". –  RegDwigнt May 31 '11 at 11:18

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.