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View Full Version : 'Swapped Out' Why not just 'Swapped'?


Xenakis
07-28-2010, 09:17 AM
'Swapped out' is to my knowledge a computing term where it makes some sense (swap file, here (http://www.mondofacto.com/facts/dictionary?swapped+out)) but I can't see its usefulness in general terms.

e.g.

'I swapped out my old laces for some new ones'.

Why 'swapped out', why not just say 'swapped'?

e.g.

'I swapped my old laces for some new ones.'

What is the function of the word 'out' in the first example?

A rather trivial issue to be fair but was just wondering as I see the term used here quite often (think it's more of an American English thing but I'm not sure).

Fearsome Forehand
07-28-2010, 09:27 AM
Common usage here in the States.

It was not for want of sovereignty/freedom or due to excessive taxation, this is the real reason why we kicked your butts out of our country. We found your obsessive fascination with such trivial issues concerning language rather annoying.:)

Not as if the British don't have strange expressions, too. We remain separated by a common language.

No logical reason for the "out" addition. But, there a million such linguistic redundancies on both sides of the pond. Don't fret about it any longer.

r2473
07-28-2010, 09:41 AM
Oh well, it's horses for courses I suppose

Higgins:
Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable she utters.
By right she should be taken out and hung,
For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.

Eliza:
Aaoooww!

Higgins:
Aaoooww!
Heavens, what a noise!
This is what the British population,
Calls an elementary education.

Pickering:
Come, sir, I think you picked a poor example.

Higgins:
Did I?
Hear them down in Soho square,
Dropping "h's" everywhere.
Speaking English anyway they like.
You sir, did you go to school?

Man:
Wadaya tike me for, a fool?

Higgins:
No one taught him 'take' instead of 'tike'!

Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
Hear a Cornishman converse,
I'd rather hear a choir singing flat.
Chickens cackling in a barn,
Just like this one here.

Eliza:
Garn!

Higgins:
I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?

It's "Aaoooww" and "Garn" that keep her in her place.
Not her wretched clothes and dirty face.

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now,
Should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too!

Pickering:
I beg your pardon!

Higgins: An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him.
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him.
One common language I'm afraid we'll never get,
Oh, why can't the English learn to

set a good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears?
The Scots and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely disappears.

In America, they haven't used it for years!

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
Norwegians learn Norwegian,
the Greeks are taught their Greek.
In France every Frenchman knows his language from "A" to "Zed"

The French never care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce it properly.

Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning,
The Hebrews learn it backwards,
which is absolutely frightening.
But use proper English and you're regarded as a freak.

Why can't the English,
Why can't the English,
Learn To Speak?

Xenakis
07-28-2010, 09:47 AM
Common usage here in the States.

It was not for want of sovereignty/freedom or due to excessive taxation, this is the real reason why we kicked your butts out of our country. We found your obsessive fascination with such trivial issues concerning language rather annoying.:)

Not as if the British don't have strange expressions, too. We remain separated by a common language.

No logical reason for the "out" addition. But, there a million such linguistic redundancies on both sides of the pond. Don't fret about it any longer.

Erm ok, I wasn't intending to provoke some nationalist tirade. However, the question seems answered (for now), no reason to add 'out' to swapped, strange that people keep using it really.

Re war, firstly there is no 'we' about it (unless you are very, very old). The people who fought in various historical conflicts are no longer with us and arguably you and I as British and American citizens have much more in common than we do with soldiers of the late 18th century.

The term 'we' in this context is irrational (same goes for saying 'we' won or lost a football match or whatever when you don't play on the team or have no real input into their success or failure.)

Re the actual conflict, the British (not me, or we) could argue they 'kicked your butts' out of Canada and burned down the White House and other buildings in Washington long after the war of independence, perhaps because of 'your' propensity to bring up historical conflicts in attempt to bolster your own self esteem?

Perhaps it might be better just to stick to the topic, learn your history and have some respect for those who fought and died in years gone by but not lumping yourself in with them and considering their victories or defeats your own.

Rippy
07-28-2010, 11:52 AM
Hmm, I've never really heard the word "out" be added like that.

Could be to clarify the direction of swapping I guess... When something is swapped, 2 things are exchanged, so the "out" specifies which thing was present originally.

Fearsome Forehand
07-28-2010, 12:37 PM
Erm ok, I wasn't intending to provoke some nationalist tirade. However, the question seems answered (for now), no reason to add 'out' to swapped, strange that people keep using it really.

Re war, firstly there is no 'we' about it (unless you are very, very old). The people who fought in various historical conflicts are no longer with us and arguably you and I as British and American citizens have much more in common than we do with soldiers of the late 18th century.

The term 'we' in this context is irrational (same goes for saying 'we' won or lost a football match or whatever when you don't play on the team or have no real input into their success or failure.)

Re the actual conflict, the British (not me, or we) could argue they 'kicked your butts' out of Canada and burned down the White House and other buildings in Washington long after the war of independence, perhaps because of 'your' propensity to bring up historical conflicts in attempt to bolster your own self esteem?

Perhaps it might be better just to stick to the topic, learn your history and have some respect for those who fought and died in years gone by but not lumping yourself in with them and considering their victories or defeats your own.

I hope that isn't a serious post and was written tongue in cheek.

Otherwise, all I can say/write in response is sarcasm and jokes lost on you much? :)

Raidenx
07-28-2010, 01:25 PM
Including 'out' would imply you're switching/changing a part of something..
Try these:
I swapped an old racket for a new one. - understandable
I swapped out an old racket for a new one. - seems to only make sense if your meaning is swapping the old racket out of your racket rotation or something like that

I swapped old strings for new strings. - maybe ambiguous, old unused packs of strings or strings in the racket?
I swapped out old strings for new strings. - understandable as taking the old strings out of the racket and putting in new ones

ProgressoR
07-28-2010, 01:29 PM
when you can beat us brits (ie england) at cricket then you can take the high ground.

I give it about 8 years.

I wouldnt swap out LBW for a 3 pointer in over time in the bottom of the 9th in the world series 11th game.

Xenakis
07-28-2010, 02:44 PM
I hope that isn't a serious post and was written tongue in cheek.

Otherwise, all I can say/write in response is sarcasm and jokes lost on you much? :)

Oh of course I was being sarcastic. In the same way you were.

Xenakis
07-28-2010, 02:53 PM
Including 'out' would imply you're switching/changing a part of something..
Try these:
I swapped an old racket for a new one. - understandable
I swapped out an old racket for a new one. - seems to only make sense if your meaning is swapping the old racket out of your racket rotation or something like that

I swapped old strings for new strings. - maybe ambiguous, old unused packs of strings or strings in the racket?
I swapped out old strings for new strings. - understandable as taking the old strings out of the racket and putting in new ones

I don't think the second to last example needs qualifying. It would be clear from the context you're talking about a racquet, can you think of a situation where the context would be missing?

fed_the_savior
07-28-2010, 03:05 PM
I don't think the second to last example needs qualifying. It would be clear from the context you're talking about a racquet, can you think of a situation where the context would be missing?

Just thinking off hand, swapping out would be replacing something within something else. Like we could swap rackets, but I would swap out my strings. We wouldn't "swap out" our rackets, because the out signifies a swapping within the framework of a greater object. We swapped cars, I swapped out the engine in my car. The out is likely only rarely needed for precise meaning, but it does add context.

Xenakis
07-28-2010, 03:16 PM
Just thinking off hand, swapping out would be replacing something within something else. Like we could swap rackets, but I would swap out my strings. We wouldn't "swap out" our rackets, because the out signifies a swapping within the framework of a greater object. We swapped cars, I swapped out the engine in my car. The out is likely only rarely needed for precise meaning, but it does add context.

True, we wouldn't swap out our racquets, but that doesn't mean you would swap out your strings. You'd just swap them, in that context it would make just as much sense to say you were swapping them in.

The fact something is going out and something else is coming in is contained within the swapping concept, there's no other way of doing it.

fed_the_savior
07-28-2010, 03:20 PM
True, we wouldn't swap out our racquets, but that doesn't mean you would swap out your strings. You'd just swap them, in that context it would make just as much sense to say you were swapping them in.

The fact something is going out and something else is coming in is contained within the swapping concept, there's no other way of doing it.

There's a lot of instances where you can say something more concisely, and extra words are not needed, but I think to be purely redundant the extra word(s) have to not add any real information whatsoever. "Out" does add some information however small.

Xenakis
07-28-2010, 03:32 PM
There's a lot of instances where you can say something more concisely, and extra words are not needed, but I think to be purely redundant the extra word(s) have to not add any real information whatsoever. "Out" does add some information however small.

Politely questioning your above text..

What extra information does it add compared to saying swap?

Why use swap out rather than swap in?

Rippy
07-28-2010, 03:37 PM
Politely questioning your above text..

What extra information does it add compared to saying swap?

Why use swap out rather than swap in?

Say you're using one racquet, and have another in your bag. You swap them. You've "swapped out" the one you are currently using, and "swapped in" the one in your bag.

jswinf
07-28-2010, 03:45 PM
The only thing I can add after reading this thread (and wondering why I did) is that "swap" is one of those words that look really dumb when you see it over and over. Let's ban it in favo(u)r of "exchanged."

Xenakis
07-28-2010, 04:09 PM
Say you're using one racquet, and have another in your bag. You swap them. You've "swapped out" the one you are currently using, and "swapped in" the one in your bag.

You swap them, exactly. How is that not clear? How could it mean anything else?

You need to justify why the qualification is necessary, you haven't done so above :-)

fed_the_savior
07-28-2010, 04:16 PM
You swap them, exactly. How is that not clear? How could it mean anything else?

You need to justify why the qualification is necessary, you haven't done so above :-)

It's the difference between I 'ate' the lasagna and I 'chewed and swallowed' the lasagna. Just nuance. Your argument is predicated on the basis that only necessary words are legitimate. If we all talked in the least amount of words necessary, it would be rather colorless. For example you just repeated the same question twice. It wasn't strictly necessary, however it added nuance. I might add "swapped in" is also used infrequently.

Rippy
07-28-2010, 04:18 PM
You swap them, exactly. How is that not clear? How could it mean anything else?

You need to justify why the qualification is necessary, you haven't done so above :-)

It's ever so slightly more specific. It's telling you the direction of swapping. I think... but it's late and I'm not thinking clearly.

Xenakis
07-28-2010, 04:45 PM
It's the difference between I 'ate' the lasagna and I 'chewed and swallowed' the lasagna. Just nuance. Your argument is predicated on the basis that only necessary words are legitimate. If we all talked in the least amount of words necessary, it would be rather colorless. For example you just repeated the same question twice. It wasn't strictly necessary, however it added nuance. I might add "swapped in" is also used infrequently.

It's just not necessary to add 'out', it's a qualification that adds no new information, nuance is necessary in some situations because it's adding detail or context, it is strictly necessary to many situations (such as in political discourse to pick one of many possible examples).

There's no nuanced meaning to saying swapped out rather than swapped, or swapped in, if there is you've failed to demonstrate it.

Fearsome Forehand
07-28-2010, 05:40 PM
Oh of course I was being sarcastic. In the same way you were.

Glad to here it. Otherwise, you would be a total dork. :)

Strange how sarcasm is often unclear in email and message boards.
Perhaps our default setting should be sarcasm assumed?

pinky42
07-28-2010, 10:55 PM
It's just not necessary to add 'out', it's a qualification that adds no new information.

The information it adds is the direction.

I have a pair of shoes. I swapped blue laces and red laces. It could mean that I took out blue laces and put in red ones or vice versa.

I have a pair of shoes. I swapped out blue laces and swapped in red laces. It clarifies that the blue laces were in the shoes at the beginning and red laces are in the shoes at the end.

Rippy
07-29-2010, 02:59 AM
The information it adds is the direction.

I have a pair of shoes. I swapped blue laces and red laces. It could mean that I took out blue laces and put in red ones or vice versa.

I have a pair of shoes. I swapped out blue laces and swapped in red laces. It clarifies that the blue laces were in the shoes at the beginning and red laces are in the shoes at the end.

Yes, this is exactly what I was trying to say earlier. :)

ProgressoR
07-29-2010, 03:03 AM
I swapped the blue laces for red laces.

Rippy
07-29-2010, 03:21 AM
I swapped the blue laces for red laces.

That's another way of adding direction, just as saying "swapped out" is.

crosscourt
07-29-2010, 05:12 AM
If you swap blue laces for red laces

1. does it tell you which you have in your shoes at the end? and
2. have you swapped anything? All that you have done is put different laces in your shoes. But you still have red and blue laces. Why isn't it "I changed red laces for blue ones"?

Genuine questions both.

cc

Rippy
07-29-2010, 05:31 AM
If you swap blue laces for red laces

1. does it tell you which you have in your shoes at the end? and
2. have you swapped anything? All that you have done is put different laces in your shoes. But you still have red and blue laces. Why isn't it "I changed red laces for blue ones"?

Genuine questions both.

cc

1. It's sort of implied the red ones end up in your shoes, but it doesn't specifically state it.
2. Swapped basically means exchanged.

Xenakis
07-29-2010, 05:43 AM
I swapped the blue laces for red laces.

Exactly, see my italics. The meaning is patently obvious. No one has managed even a half hearted defence of this unusual verbal tick.

Rippy
07-29-2010, 05:44 AM
Exactly, see my italics. The meaning is patently obvious. No one has managed even a half hearted defence of this unusual verbal tick.

Yes, but saying "I swapped the blue laces and red races" isn't as specific. ProgressorR showed one way of getting around it by using "for", but using "out" and "in" is simply another way. Just a different way of saying it.

Xenakis
07-29-2010, 05:49 AM
Yes, but saying "I swapped the blue laces and red races" isn't as specific. ProgressorR showed one way of getting around it by using "for", but using "out" and "in" is simply another way. Just a different way of saying it.

When would you hear someone say they swapped the red laces and blue laces? In a magic trick? Perhaps when taking the two pairs of laces back to the shop to swap them for a refund.

If you were talking about swapping your shoelaces you would say you swapped one for the other. How could it be any other way?

The word 'out' is not necessary and never has been. You've still failed to demonstrate a suitable context and are just repeating yourself.

Rippy
07-29-2010, 06:03 AM
When would you hear someone say they swapped the red laces and blue laces? In a magic trick? Perhaps when taking the two pairs of laces back to the shop to swap them for a refund.

If you were talking about swapping your shoelaces you would say you swapped one for the other. How could it be any other way?

The word 'out' is not necessary and never has been. You've still failed to demonstrate a suitable context and are just repeating yourself.

You can certainly say you swapped something with something else. That makes sense and doesn't define what direction the swapping has occurred in.

crosscourt
07-29-2010, 06:54 AM
If we say "we sat round the campfire and swapped stories" the meaning is pretty clear. We are expressing an interchange between people. A real swap, because the easiest way of dealing with this is that I swap what I have for something else. So swap is my action in relation to what I have and the verb attaches to the subject of the verb.

If we are talking about an exchange we make with ourselves -- the laces example -- the position is or appears to be different. But we are coming close to saying that the convention is that the thing that goes, so to speak, is identified first, and the thing that comes is identified second. We all agree that it isn't necessary to say "out", but that unless there is a convention about what goes and comes, the "out" helps explain what we are left with and what has gone. Is that right?

So far the convention looks more like assertion than anything else -- albeit perhaps a sensible assertion.

If we said "substitute" rather than swap, what conventiosn or qualifications would assist?

cc

Xenakis
07-29-2010, 08:11 AM
I see what you're saying CC but I think the convention about swapping one thing for another makes clear in the case a lace that the former is being swapped in the latter out.

This is why I've never heard anyone use the phrase before apart from in computing where it makes sense (swapping out and in refer to different types of memory). In general terms it's superfluous.

fed_the_savior
07-29-2010, 11:16 AM
I see what you're saying CC but I think the convention about swapping one thing for another makes clear in the case a lace that the former is being swapped in the latter out.

This is why I've never heard anyone use the phrase before apart from in computing where it makes sense (swapping out and in refer to different types of memory). In general terms it's superfluous.

Stop freaking out about this, man. Or should I say... stop freaking about this?

Bud
07-29-2010, 11:21 AM
Common usage here in the States.

It was not for want of sovereignty/freedom or due to excessive taxation, this is the real reason why we kicked your butts out of our country. We found your obsessive fascination with such trivial issues concerning language rather annoying.:)

Not as if the British don't have strange expressions, too. We remain separated by a common language.

No logical reason for the "out" addition. But, there a million such linguistic redundancies on both sides of the pond. Don't fret about it any longer.

This... the question was answered.

mtommer
07-29-2010, 11:36 AM
I think "swapped out" typically denotes a replacement with one item no longer usuable. "Swapped" is often taken to denote an exchange of items of similar condition or desire.

So for example, if I swap out the blue laces for the red ones I've probably thrown the blue ones away. If I swapped the laces I probably relaced each set of laces into their "new" respective shoe.

RealityPolice
07-29-2010, 12:53 PM
I think "swapped out" typically denotes a replacement with one item no longer usuable. "Swapped" is often taken to denote an exchange of items of similar condition or desire.

So for example, if I swap out the blue laces for the red ones I've probably thrown the blue ones away. If I swapped the laces I probably relaced each set of laces into their "new" respective shoe.

As I understand it, the usage of the non-phrasal swapped implies that more than one party was involved, and/or that the items are unequal in identity.

Phrasal swapped out carries a connotation that the items had a single possessor, and/or that they were roughly identical.

Historically, the addition of a preposition into a phrasal verb construction (i.e. one way of making a non-phrasal verb phrasal) has to do with the narrowing of a verb's semanticity (or simply a change of semanticity); see beaten vs. beaten up.

I'm not entirely sure of the specifics of swapped vs. swapped out, but the above is my guess. I'd have to check an idiomatic-English dictionary for exactness' sake.

crosscourt
07-30-2010, 01:08 AM
In financial usage if I say that I had a liability that was "swapped out" I mean that I laid off a liability using a particular transaction. Thus the swap is with a counterparty -- someone else. But this use of "out" is probably superfluous. My feeling is that most of the examples we are discussing are, like this financial one, just poor uses of English.

cc

Bartelby
07-30-2010, 07:04 AM
It's just supposed to be swap or swapped. I think swapped out is formed along the lines of changed out. i changed out of my blue jeans probably becomes, wrongly, I swapped out of my blue jeans for my black ones. It then may become, more simply, I swapped out my blue jeans for my black ones. But if enough people say that for long enough, then maybe etymology counts for little.





In financial usage if I say that I had a liability that was "swapped out" I mean that I laid off a liability using a particular transaction. Thus the swap is with a counterparty -- someone else. But this use of "out" is probably superfluous. My feeling is that most of the examples we are discussing are, like this financial one, just poor uses of English.

cc

Xenakis
07-30-2010, 08:39 AM
I think 'beaten up' is a good counter example, and 'smashed up' etc, that does actually change the meaning from 'smashed' or 'beaten'.

Swapped out is just odd, but perhaps as Bartleby says if people say it for long enough it might develop a specific meaning, not yet though (apart from in computing, where you'll find the term in dictionaries etc).

JohnnyCracker
07-30-2010, 12:37 PM
swap - switch, exchange
We swapped seats.

swap out - replace
I swapped out the broken radiator.

A) I swapped the broken radiators.
B) I swapped out the broken radiators.

See the differences? In A the broken radiators are switching places of one another. In B the broken radiators are replaced (with new/working/non-broken ones).
'swapping' involves multiple objects in a sentence. You wouldn't say "I swapped the broken radiator." (with what? it's incomplete.) You'd say "I swapped the broken radiator with a new one." or you could simply say "I swapped out the broken radiator."
'swapping out' can involve a singular or multiple objects in a sentence.

Ross K
07-30-2010, 10:33 PM
Can someone please explain exactly what I think is another American term (originally anyhow)... 'my bad'... ???... :) I reckon I get the gist of it ('Sorry, my mistake') - but a bit more clarification/explanation/where it comes from/etc would be cool. If I'm not mistaken, the very young in the UK might have adopted this now. However, aside from a small kid, I've never heard this expression used by anyone else here, apart from a man of (I think) American-Indonesian background.

Thanks,

R.

JohnnyCracker
07-30-2010, 10:59 PM
"my bad"
It started in the NBA when players were copying Manute Bol who originated that phrase. He meant to say "my mistake" or "my fault" when he made bad plays but his english was a bit shaky. So everytime he made a bad pass, turnover, etc. he'd say "my bad." His teammates picked up on it and soon everyone in the league was saying it. Then, every kids playing basketball were saying it.
at least that's what I heard on ESPN :lol:

Bartelby
07-30-2010, 11:18 PM
I would have said:

I changed over the broken radiators.




swap - switch, exchange
We swapped seats.

swap out - replace
I swapped out the broken radiator.

A) I swapped the broken radiators.
B) I swapped out the broken radiators.

See the differences? In A the broken radiators are switching places of one another. In B the broken radiators are replaced (with new/working/non-broken ones).
'swapping' involves multiple objects in a sentence. You wouldn't say "I swapped the broken radiator." (with what? it's incomplete.) You'd say "I swapped the broken radiator with a new one." or you could simply say "I swapped out the broken radiator."
'swapping out' can involve a singular or multiple objects in a sentence.

JohnnyCracker
07-30-2010, 11:27 PM
and I would say "I replaced the broken radiator."
just using those examples to point out the differences in meaning between "swap out" and "swap" since the whole discussion is about "swap" and "swap out", not about 'replace', 'exchange', 'switch', or 'change over'

Xenakis
07-31-2010, 09:42 AM
swap - switch, exchange
We swapped seats.

swap out - replace
I swapped out the broken radiator.

A) I swapped the broken radiators.
B) I swapped out the broken radiators.

See the differences? In A the broken radiators are switching places of one another. In B the broken radiators are replaced (with new/working/non-broken ones).
'swapping' involves multiple objects in a sentence. You wouldn't say "I swapped the broken radiator." (with what? it's incomplete.) You'd say "I swapped the broken radiator with a new one." or you could simply say "I swapped out the broken radiator."
'swapping out' can involve a singular or multiple objects in a sentence.


I'd say I replaced the radiator as most people probably would (?). I think 'swapping out' as something specific to replacing something which is broken is the best explanation so far though. Still a bit odd, but then so is 'beaten up' vs beaten (not sure where the 'up' came from).

Ross K
07-31-2010, 11:45 AM
Okay then... another one... 'props'... eh?... somebody?...:)

R.

spaceman_spiff
08-03-2010, 07:40 AM
Okay then... another one... 'props'... eh?... somebody?...:)

R.

As far as I know, "props" is short for "propers." I think the original saying was "proper" something, maybe "proper respect" like in an Ali G sort of way. I'm not really sure what the second word was originally.

Then, it got shortened to "propers" but then very quickly got shortened again to "props."

To "give props" is to give respect or acknowledge someone's actions.

Ross K
08-03-2010, 11:27 AM
^^^ Cheers spaceman... one of those I always see on TT and wondered about.

R.