a $15 minimum wage

< Previous | Next >

nagomi

Senior Member
Korean
"You're right. They back a lot of the same policies - like "Medicare for All," a $15 minimum wage, that sort of thing. And so they have some basic, similar ideas on economics. They both talk about inequality a lot, for example. "

I've thought all along that a concept doesn't have to have "a" or "an" before it. $15 minimum wage is a policy measure and there's even a hard number to it, which is 15. What's reason do you think behind this "a"?

source: Armed With New Policies, Democratic Presidential Candidates Look To Debates
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I've thought all along that a concept doesn't have to have "a" or "an" before it.
    That is not true if the concept is qualified by a partitive adjective (in this case '$15') that separates a specified section of the concept from the whole of the concept.

    In your example $15 is an adjective that separates "$15" {minimum wage} from the generality of {minimum wage}

    Thus "a $15 {minimum wage} -> an example of a minimum wage that is a $15 per hour minimum wage.

    Compare:
    I have sympathy for his circumstances.
    I have a deep sympathy for his circumstances.
    I have a slight sympathy for his circumstances.
     

    nagomi

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, but I don't understand the part "is qualified by" The concept is qualified to be what?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The concept of "minimum wage" is qualified by "$15".

    Do you understand the concept of "minimum wage"?
     

    nagomi

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The concept of "minimum wage" is qualified by "$15".

    Do you understand the concept of "minimum wage"?
    Yes, to the concept of minimum wage, but I'm not clear about something is being qualified "by" not "to be" or "as".
     

    nagomi

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The concept of "minimum wage" is qualified by "$15".

    Do you understand the concept of "minimum wage"?
    Does that mean a minimum wage meets the standard to constitute the formally stated minimum wage by being $15 or more?

    I find it hard to see the logic behind how $15, a figure can qualify something as if the amount of dollar can judge or think about something like a person. I might have understood if it were "the minimum wage is qualified by being $15."
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    A "minimum wage" is a noun phrase and is one unit of meaning - as single, unique, concept.

    "Minimum wage" describes the least amount of money per hour that it is legally possible for an employer to pay his employees. If he pays them less than the "minimum wage", he may be arrested and fined or imprisoned or both.

    "$15" thus qualifies "minimum wage" and points to that amount of money that permits the employer to be free of the threat of a fine or imprisonment.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Just to butt in, 'wage' isn't an abstract concept. I earn a wage or a salary. My wage or salary is a certain definite amount, and I can spend my wage or salary on beer. The concept of the minimum wage is presumably modern. I don't know when countries began legislating for them, but presumably in 1900 there was no minimum wage; then after the law introducing it came in, there is now a minimum wage. People in favour of this law supported a minimum wage. In later years they wanted a higher minimum wage. '$15' (or 'higher') further grammatically qualifies it but doesn't actually affect the use of 'a'.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, it would make sense even as "a minimum wage".

    They are in favor of wages that must meet a certain minimum amount.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top