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Penny & State of Denmark

Posted by James Briggs on July 22, 2000

In Reply to: Penny posted by Vidhya on July 22, 2000

: : : Hi, anybody knows da meaning of "In for a penny in for a pound"? and "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark"?
: : : Thanks much...

: : In for a penny, in for a pound means: I have invested and made a commitment ("In for") a relatively small amount ("a penny") and now I'm faced with a situation where I either have to cut my losses, financially or emotionally or whatever, or else re-commit and re-invest ("in for") a much greater amount ("a pound.") The phrase urges you to go for the larger commitment, and it's usually uttered by those who believe that they must follow a bad decision with a bigger bad decision.
: : It represents, in 8 words, the worst possible investment advice that has ever been uttered. I mean investment in the broadest possible sense: from buying stocks, to betting on a poker hand, to staying with an abusive husband... the idea that you should continue to invest in a dud, just because you once made a commitment, is strategic suicide. I think on some level the people who say this are aware of the stupidity of it, because they almost always say it with a rueful, guilty smile. (At least do when I say it....)

: Thanks a ton...d'ya know the meaning of the second expression????
: :-)

"Something's rotten in the State of Denmark" is from Shakespeare's Hamlet - Hamlet being the Prince of that country and reckoning that all was not well!