"Shop" as a transitive verb meaning "offer fo

bnjtokyo

"Shop" as a transitive verb meaning "offer fo

Postby bnjtokyo » Thu May 25, 2006 3:17 am

Hello,

The following phrase from the NY Times caught my attention

"the management team . . . often work[s] together to package movie ideas and shop screenplays for their stable of talent."

It started me wondering when "shop" (which the dictionaries generally define as meaning "to buy") acquired the new meaning "to sell." The 1997 Random House dictionary that we can use through Alphadictionary includes this meaning.

A few of the other dictionaries include this meaning, but they are undated. And most do not include this sense, which suggests it is not widespread. Does anyone have any early examples?

This usage also seems to be an Americanism. Does anyone have examples from other dialects of English?

Lexically yours,

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Postby Stargzer » Thu May 25, 2006 5:04 pm

I think is comes from the phrase "shop around."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

. . .

VERB: Inflected forms: shopped, shop·ping, shops

INTRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To visit stores in search of merchandise or bargains. . . .


PHRASAL VERB: shop around

1. To go from store to store in search of merchandise or bargains.

2. To look for something, such as a better job.

3. To offer (a large block of common stock, for example) for sale to various parties: “[The company] is now actively being shopped around, with a prospectus in circulation” (Marianne Yen).
. . .


It's analagous to a buyer who shops around looking for the best price (the lowest), only here the seller is looking for what he considers the best price (the highest).
Regards//Larry

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Postby tcward » Thu May 25, 2006 6:23 pm

...to package movie ideas and shop screenplays for their stable of talent.


Out of context, this quote sounds more to me like they are shopping for talent... in other words, looking for actors who can fill the available roles in their own projects by watching other directors' screenplays.

At least that's the way I read it.

-Tim

bnjtokyo

Postby bnjtokyo » Thu May 25, 2006 7:28 pm

Thank you for your comments.

As I said, I'd like to know when this sense ("to offer for sale") came into use for shop. Although several of the dictionaries on the internet include this sense, the earliest dated one I could find was 1998. (The American Heritage cited above is 2000) And at least one of the dictionaries giving this sense stated that it is an Americanism, so I'd be interested to know whether this sense is in use in other dialects of English.

Finally, the full context of the article makes it clear that the agency has directors, actors etc. and that they were "shopping" these packages around. Sorry I can't post a link to the NY Times article.

Cheers,

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Postby tcward » Thu May 25, 2006 10:32 pm

Well, I can...

New York Times - High Price of Comedy: Fox Just Says No

The rise of a new network of comic stars who write, act in, direct and produce one another's projects — also including Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Steve Carrell, Will Ferrell, Jack Black as well as the directors Tom Shadyac and David Dobkin — has given them a power uncommon in the industry.

Many of those stars are represented by the management team of Jimmy Miller and Eric Gold at Mosaic Media, and the agent Nick Stevens at United Talent Agency, who often work together to package movie ideas and shop screenplays for their stable of talent. The three rarely speak to the press.


I still don't read that phrase as offer for sale. I read it as checking out screenplays to see who is in them and who they can use in their own projects.

Maybe it's just me.

-Tim

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Postby Perry » Thu May 25, 2006 10:52 pm

Is 1688 sufficiently far back to make this not a new meaning?

Shop(v.) 1688, "to bring something to a shop, to expose for sale," from shop (n.).
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Postby tcward » Fri May 26, 2006 4:56 pm

Well, that definitely rules it out as an Americanism.

I still don't think that was the meaning in the example, though.

-Tim

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Postby Perry » Fri May 26, 2006 10:53 pm

I just read the article in question. There is no doubt in my mind that shop is being used as an alternative for to promote, or sell.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby sluggo » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:29 pm

Perry's citation of the OED derivation is illuminating. But shop has been used in our time traditonally to mean the act of seeking rather than selling goods. The same OED reference notes "The meaning to visit shops is first attested 1764. Shop around is from 1922." so we turned the meaning around some two and a half centuries ago and then abandoned the original.

But since the definition of seeking is our traditional usage, I submit that the present shop-as-sell is another case of the modern hack-speak device of turning a verb inside-out, as in "a plan to grow (sic) the company". In this theory it's purely coincidental that the modern perversion matches the original.
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Postby Perry » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:36 pm

Sluggo, what is that in your signiture line? Is it one of those unintentionally funny bits of prose that spammers use to defeat spam filters?
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby tcward » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:49 pm

Apparently it's a palindrome.

-Tim

edit: I did have the Google search link on the phrase, but the link was too long...

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Postby tcward » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:51 pm

Aha... try this link.

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Postby sluggo » Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:47 pm

tcward wrote:Aha... try this link.


Youse guise are da bomb. Yeah, that's my favourite palidrome although I did enjoy Tim's link, even garnered some new faves like As I pee, sir, I see Pisa! and Mr. Owl ate my metal worm but didn't see the old chestnut Rise, Sir Lapdog! God, pal -rise, sir! among others.

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Postby Perry » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:14 pm

Any palindrome is a pal of mine!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 pm

This site has been a real Boone to me.

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Regards//Larry



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