iPhone run away with whose money?

So, everyone’s excited about the new 3G iPhone coming to Singapore in September, especially since it’s tagged at an unbelievably affordable price of USD199.

The Goonfather has pre-ordered one (which I’m claiming for myself!!), Unker Kell has pre-ordered one, Kerrendor has pre-ordered one.

I am so getting the white one, even though it’s USD100 more (the white only comes in the more costly 16GB version).

[The white Apple iPhone]

It’s so freaking beautiful!!!

And the timing is so freaking right because my two-year contract with M1 expires in September!! OMG. The blindingly beautiful white Apple iPhone was so meant to be mine.

Once I get that, I will have to get a white MacBook to go with it, and then I will be able to blog on the go!

(I need more job offers!)

I tell you, the Goonfather is a bad influence.

First, he influenced our whole group to buy the PS3. It was like a domino effect.

My regular hang-out group consists of seven couples and two singles, so let’s put us as nine entities. So, every few weeks, we will receive an announcement that someone has bought a PS3.

Currently, seven out of nine of us own a PS3.

Then he influenced the whole group to buy Guitar Hero 3.

[Guitar Hero wannabes]

We have five GH3 sets between us now, even though we hang out very often and don’t actually need so many sets.

Then he influenced the whole group to buy a DS Lite.

About seven DS Lites between us.

Then he influenced the whole group to buy Rock Band.

Four of us now own a Rock Bank set, and counting.

It looks like the iPhone is going to be the next domino craze.

I think SingTel and Apple should be paying the Goonfather commission.

Yes, I’m coming to the main story now.

So, the Goonfather was doing some research on phones when he suddenly MSNed me.

He quoted:

…the inclusion of high speed HSDPA network support on both devices would give the iPhone a run for its money where speedy mobile internet connectivity is concerned.

Then he asked, “What does run for the money mean?”

I said, “It means someone is facing stiff competition.”

“Who is the someone?”

“The iPhone is getting a run for its money, so it means the iPhone is facing stiff competition.”

“That’s like A = B. So vague.”


“So iPhone run away with money or run to the money?”


I decided that he needed a more literal explanation.

The term “run for the money” originated from horse racing but I decided to use runners as an analogy because it seems more literal.

I told him this story:

[Ready, on your marks... zzz]
Photo by Miles Pfefferle

There’s one champion runner. He’s won the race effortlessly a few years in a row.

This year, some young upstart suddenly popped out of nowhere.

Because the young upstart is so promising, people start to speculate that, this year, the champion might not actually win. He might actually have to put in a lot of effort to RUN so he can win the MONEY.

So because the young upstart is making the champion run harder to win the race, the young upstart is giving the champion a run for his money.

The Goonfather finally understood, but he went on to argue just for the sake of it.

“But that phrase can also mean he just take the money and run, leaving the loser there to sulk,” he said.

[She doesn't like your face]


“It’s a stupid phrase,” he went on, “And people should stop using it. It’s vague and I can have six definitions for it.”


In a way, I suppose he’s right. Idioms were derived from real-life happenings way back in the past, so many of them are outdated and unintuitive. We won’t know what they mean unless we’ve been told, or we see the phrase in different contexts and gradually figure it out ourselves.

Like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

[Rockabye baby in the bathtub]
Photo by István Benedek

Nobody does that anymore!!! (I mean in the literal sense.)

But I still like idioms. It’s fun to read the origins because they give us an insight into the lives of our ancestors.

Here’s a very good resource if you’re interested in stuff like that. It’s been organised aphabetically so it’s very easy to search.

In any case, the Goonfather is right. The “run for the money” phrase could be interpreted in several ways.

But that’s how puns can exist, although I shan’t go into that because it’s another topic and because I’m of the opinion that Singaporeans generally don’t appreciate puns.

Come September, though, I think Apple (and possibly SingTel) will be the one running away with all our money.