"NOT cheap imitations, but genuine replicas!" [NT]

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 13 20:25:23 UTC 2010

This is just my gut talking, but I would expect an imitation to look
like the original, but not necessarily function at the same level of
quality, or even at all, while a replica would aim to function similarly
to the original.


On 5/13/2010 2:45 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn<laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "NOT cheap imitations, but genuine replicas!" [NT]
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 2:31 PM -0400 5/13/10, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> I should have made clear that I was quoting a spam ad for "Rolex"
>> watches, in which the distinction, "imitation" vs. "replica," is
>> laughably meaningless. What distinguishes between an "imitation" of a
>> Rolex and a "replica" of a Rolex?
> Price.  The latter is more costly.
> Besides "genuine replica" (less obviously oxymoronic than "genuine
> imitation"), there's also "exact replica", while "exact imitation"
> seems less likely to me.  Contrarily, "pale imitation" seems more
> natural than "pale replica".
>> In neither case is the watch a
>> genuine Rolex. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.
> The difference in the naturalness of these collocations, if my
> judgments aren't entirely idiosyncratic, suggests that this *is* a
> difference that makes a difference and thus isn't no difference.
> LH
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