Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 30 14:24:53 UTC 2008

He's just making that up, Charlie. I doubt that anybody - i.e. *I*
don't - connects "suave" with Suave. and what does he mean when he
refers to "a line of *knockoff* shampoos"? I know that the "Relax"
watch that you can buy from New york sidewalk vendors is a knockoff of
the Rolex watch. But in what sense is the brand name of a line of hair
products a "knockoff" of an adjective?


On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 9:59 AM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>  Subject:      "suave"
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  From the mystery novel _The Lost Van Gogh_, by A. J. Zerries (2006):  "The French dealer was everything 'suave' used to stand for, before a line of knockoff shampoos irreversibly debased the word" (p. 144).
>  I'd never noticed or considered the purported debasing of "suave." I wonder if it has really happened. How common is it that the use of a word as a brand name affects the word's connotations?
>  --Charlie
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