I'm having some confusion with using the terminology of MRS. For example, let's take up this question:
If good 1 is a “neutral,” what is its marginal rate of substitution for good 2?
The answer is:
Zero—if you take away some of good 1, the consumer needs zero units of good 2 to compensate him for his loss.
The question is asking for the MRS of good 2. The answer interprets this question as "how much of good 2 will one need to give up for a loss in good 1?". In that case, it is, of course, 0. But, you can just as easily interpret the question as: "How much of good 1 will one need to give up for a loss in good 2?" -- in which case, the answer is infinity -- the consumer would not want to give up any amount of good 1 for a loss in good 2.
In a different question, this was asked: "What is your marginal rate of substitution of \$1 bills for \$5 bills?". And the answer was "5". So, in this question, the good after the word "of" (\$1 bills) is what you're giving up. In other words, the answer is the answer to the question: "How many \$1 bills would you give up for a \$5 bill?" So this answer interprets the question in completely the opposite way.
To phrase it more clearly, when someone asks:
What is the MRS of good 1 for good 2?
How should I interpret it? Is it "how much good 2 you would give up for an increase in good 1?" or "How much good 1 you would give up for an increase in good 2?"