Imitation or counterfeit?

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Oct 13 12:57:38 UTC 2011

As we search for the aptest descriptor, let us not overlook the utility of "bogus."


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Garson O'Toole [adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 3:22 AM

Below is a transcript from a 2010 episode of the chef Anthony
Bourdain's television show (according to the webpage description) that
uses the phrases "fake yangcheng lake crab" and "counterfeit yangcheng
hairy crabs".

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Shanghai
Aired on Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 (6/24/2010) at 07:00 PM

00:04:38 Now we have to bring a topic with the fake yangcheng lake
crab because the yangcheng lake crab is so popular.

00:04:44 The battle over counterfeit yangcheng hairy crabs has been epic.

00:04:48 The current quality-control strategy involves laser-etching
the crabs with a unique authorization code.

00:04:54 You call a central database to determine whether you have an
authentic yangcheng crab or not.

00:04:59 It's a call worth making.

00:05:02 An estimated five out of six crabs are fakes.

00:05:06 For the rising middle class in china, a yangcheng crab
weekend represents a pricy but affordable luxury, a real taste of the
good life.

On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 2:51 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Imitation or counterfeit?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> FWIW, "fake" and "imitation" are preferred when it comes to scallops. "Counterfeit scallops" gets only two hits.
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA
> On Oct 12, 2011, at 10:34 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> At 10/13/2011 12:06 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>>> The problem with hairy crabs is that there is outright fraud (as in the
>>> other cases), so "imitation" is not quite right--"imitation crab" is not
>>> fraudulently presented crab. But "counterfeit", to me, has an "Ersatz"
>>> quality to it, so that does not seem quite right either. It's the same
>>> issue as someone serving dogfish in place of haddock
>> There is "imitation crab *meat*", where the meat is from some other
>> sea creature (I won't guess).  A past and perhaps still present
>> scandal.  There, and also for dogfish replacing haddock, I think
>> "imitation" (imitation crab, imitation haddock) is OK.
>> Joel

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