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#40290 - 08/31/01 10:55 AM Re: a cynic duck?
Keiva Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
"Vy a duck?" -- Chico Marx

#40291 - 08/31/01 05:22 PM Re: Synecdoche?
Vernon Compton Offline

Registered: 06/29/01
Posts: 273
Loc: NZ
re yeahbut

You are right. Here is the reply I received when I asked the author of the page the same question:

You raise an interesting issue. I have two answers. First, the power
of figurative language is in its connotations, not its denotations, and
so the factual accuracy of a trope is less important than its effect.
In other words, "longhorn" really could stand in for cattle generally,
and not just that breed. You could also refer to your car as your
"wheels" and be understood, even if your car had no wheels. Second, it
is not uncommon for indirect references to migrate in what they point
to. For example, "trampoline" used to be a brand name, "Trampoline,"
but its very success caused it to become a generic term (synecdoche is
precisely this trope of referring to a genre by naming a species within
it). The same thing has happened with Xerox (now a generic noun and verb
for photocopying), and Kleenex. Someone can say they've bought some
Kleenex even though they bought some no-name brand, and we would not
accuse them of being false. Why? Because we accept synecdoche as a fair
substitution for the factual name.

#40292 - 08/31/01 05:50 PM Re: Synecdoche?
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
"trampoline" used to be a brand name

Then does it have any original, generic name? "Springy-bouncy circle thing"?

#40293 - 08/31/01 06:49 PM Re: Synecdoche?
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear VC: thanks for that informative post. I have trouble enough remembering the Greek terms, that every bit of explanation is very welcome. Please forgive my corny joke. That was how a giirl in my highschool class pronounced it almost seventy years ago. I could remember the mispronunciation when I couldn't remember the definition.

#40294 - 09/01/01 04:12 PM Almost...
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Re: The same thing has happened with Xerox (now a generic noun and verb for photocopying), and Kleenex.

well, almost but not quite-- US and UK dictionaries still note that these are brand names. and both companies wage legal battles to keep them that way.

Asprin is a better example-- it used to owned by the Bayer company, but it now a generic word in US (i believe this is a bit of yart, and there are lots of detail about Bayer/asprin and how it lost its copyright protection, about 6 months back.. so if you want more detail, go hunting. )

I wonder about hoover. In US this is still a brand name.. but in UK it seems to be generic for vacuuming.

my other obsession

#40295 - 09/01/01 05:16 PM Re: Almost...
Keiva Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
of Troy is correct. Another example is "Jello": their adds consistently refer to "Jello brand" geletin dessert, in an effort to prevent the term Jello from becoming generic.

I believe the old Bissell carpet sweepers also lost their trademark protection: folks would refer to "bisseling the carpet."

#40296 - 09/01/01 05:19 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

#40297 - 09/01/01 05:52 PM JELLY
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
your post reminds me of a summer in my childhood, that helped to trigger my interest in words. In 1960, my mother took the entire family back to Dublin, my grandfather had been just diagnosed with a terminal condition.

We spent 3 full month is ireland. My sister Geraldine, who is two year youngr than i, had the worst time of it. she was constantly caught in a language trap-- she was just too young to learn a new set of vocabulary.

one day, visiting one of our aunts, she asked for "jelly" on her bread. my aunt kept insisting she didn't have any, and Geraldine kept pleading. Geraldine could see the jar of strawberry preserves.. and couldn't understand why she could have just a little.. and my aunt, was completely perplexed by the idea of jelly on bread..

For me, the time is filled with rich memories.. but i was a cheeky yank, who thought nothing of correcting my elders.. i didn't know why they called it a pram-- but i knew when asked about the pram to go over to the baby carriage. i was, luckily, just the right age, i quickly learned the money, and all sorts of wickedness-- day one i was taught how to hitch a ride on the open end of a bus! and i was able to understand what was going on about me.. that summer i learned a new vocabulary, and learned to love words.

when we first headed off to ireland, i expected to be bored--since a good deal of the time was going to be spent visiting relatives. but i was never bored.. the trip opened my mind.

Do any of you have a words, or words that mark the beginning of your love for words?

my other obsession

#40298 - 09/03/01 12:37 AM Re: JELLY
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Reminds me of the revulsion I felt when reading a book set in the US, and first came across the idea of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was a long time before I caught on what they were talking about.


#40299 - 09/03/01 04:58 AM Re: JELLY
NicholasW Offline

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is one of those things that lodges early on and confirms an ineradicable impression that Americans will eat anything.

The discovery years later that it is actually a peanut butter and jam sandwich did not, I have to say, assuage my horror much. Nor did the discovery that some people combine chocolate and... erp, excuse me......

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