Watching Ps and Qs
 
Oil on Canvas
30" x 40"
2004
 
The conventional interpretation of the idiom “Watch your Ps and Qs” has been “to mind one’s manners”, “to behave properly”.
 
This is a weakened sense to the one it had in the nineteenth century, when it meant, according to Eric Partridge in A Dictionary of Historical Slang: “to be careful, exact, or prudent in behavior”.
 
Manners, habits, rules, and routines are integral to the operation of the market.
 
But if one is to be formal, an economist must watch their Price and Quantities.