What's the damage?

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What's the damage?

Post by Stevenloan » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:27 pm

Hi everybody! I know "What's the damage?" is used to ask how much you have to pay for something. Do native speakers only use "What's the damage?" at a supermarket? Is this question also applied at a cheap eatery, a high end restaurant, a clothing store and a veterinary clinic?

Your answers will be greatly appreciated.

StevenLoan
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Re: What's the damage?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:53 pm

I could see myself asking that question in any or all of those situations except in a high-end restaurant. And that's only because I'd be too cheap to eat there. :D
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Re: What's the damage?

Post by Phil White » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:40 pm

As Erik says, they would all be possible. It depends more on the speaker than on the circumstances. "What's the damage?" is very colloquial, and most people have boundaries as to where they use colloquial language, but those boundaries vary from person to person. If you are not confident in a particular situation (many would not be in a very high-class restaurant), then you probably wouldn't use a colloquialism like this. If you are absolutely comfortable, then you might.

A colloquialism like this differs from mild swearing, where situational taboos are far stronger.
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: What's the damage?

Post by Stevenloan » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:54 pm

Erik and Phil White : Thank you both so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

StevenLoan
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Re: What's the damage?

Post by Shelley » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:55 pm

Of course, this idiom might become ambiguous if you asked it of your garage mechanic, or your home insurance claims adjuster, after an accident or disaster. Just sayin'.
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Re: What's the damage?

Post by Stevenloan » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:20 pm

Shelley : Thanks for your answer and opinion.

StevenLoan
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Re: What's the damage?

Post by BonnieL » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:01 am

While it's not something I'd say, I have heard people ask, "What are the damages?" Plural.
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Re: What's the damage?

Post by Stevenloan » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:42 am

BonnieL : Thanks a lot for the version you provide.

StevenLoan
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