Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 1 15:18:02 UTC 2008

Hmm. Is a knock-off necessarily a rip-off? I've never considered that
question, before. It's something to think about. I say that a
knock-off is *not* necessarily a rip-off. It's like (inter)national
brand vs. store brand. The store brand is a knock-off and you know
that it is. If you buy it, it's not because you're not going to
discover that you've bought a Relax instead of a Rolex until you step
out of the shadows into the sunlight and the guy has vanished down the
subway entrance.


On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 10:44 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:      Re: "suave"
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  A (well-coifed female) student informs me that, in addition to the 69-cent bottles of Suave shampoo (available in several colors and flavors), there exists a somewhat pricier line of so-called "Suave Professional" products, each bottle of which bears a reference to an analogous prestige brand that is being emulated.
>  But that situation doesn't exactly qualify as a "knockoff" either, does it? (I assume the fakery of a genuine knockoff is surreptitious.)
>  --Charlie
>  _____________________________________________________________
>  ---- Original message ----
>  >Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 10:24:53 -0400
>  >From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>  >Subject: Re: "suave"
>  >
>  >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?
>  >
>  >-Wilson
>  >
>  >On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 9:59 AM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
>  >>
>  >>  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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