Imitation or counterfeit?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Oct 13 01:14:14 UTC 2011

The recent news is that hairy crabs that were not taken from the
source of the esteemed variety of hairy crab, Yangcheng Lake, China,
are being prawned off as genuine, in the amount of 10 times the
genuine harvest.  This is such a problem that etching the genuine
crabs with laser beams was tried, but did not work well.  Then the
government printed up one million tags, to be attached by the
licensed Yangcheng Lake crab harvesters to their catches -- but some
have sold their allotments to unlicensed crab raisers, and also the
tags have been faked.

I believe I heard one commentator (on NPR?) refer to the ingenuine
crabs as "imitation".  I would have said "counterfeit".  But either
notion is somehow humorous when I think of those words being applied
to crabs that actually grew naturally somewhere.  (I concede
that"counterfeit crab " should be understood as meaning "a
counterfeit of the Yangcheng Lake crab", but that does not detract
from my amusement.)


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list