Short shots #44: Money talks

Two things from Patricia Marx’s “Shouts & Murmurs” column “The Money Whisperer” in the May 3 New Yorker, p. 33.

First, an idiom understood literally, followed by a slinging of phonetic terminology:

I’d heard rumors. They said that he could move decimal points telekinetically, that he owned the global rights to the number three quintillion seventeen, that he could make a penny feel like a million bucks. Everyone knows that money talks, but only he, it was said, knew how to talk back. It had to do with fricatives and glottal stops.

Then later, an ambiguity in how a sentence is used in context: request or offer?:

At my wit’s end, I suggested that we see a financial counsellor, but my money curtly told me that if I came near it Mrs. Sherbet would move it into escrow. I took to roaming the streets. “Spare change?” a man on the corner said. I was about to accept the offer when I spotted my money and Mrs. Sherbet, clinking champagne glasses at an outdoor hummus café.

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