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#49872 12/12/01 10:19 PM
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wwh Offline OP
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I have encountered the UK phrase "knock-on effect" several times today in New Scientist magazine. Because I do not understand what it means, I looked it up in Quinion and Word-Detective but could not find it. Here is a sample:

"The University carries out a cost benefit analysis and decides on the
appropriate level(s) of service for the MLE. This must take into account the
"knock-on" effect on the support and underlying infrastructure services on
which the MLE relies."


#49873 12/13/01 02:05 AM
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Well, it doesn't seem to be the opposite of what I understand the term "knock-off" to mean. It looks to me like it means the same as add-on, here: that more than just the obvious needs to be taken into account.


#49874 12/13/01 03:07 AM
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Good question wwh! The phrase is in common use in Oz and, like so many others, I guess it is so common that its etymology isn't questioned.

I'd always assumed that it was like the domino effect - if one event happens then another must...and another...and another etc. The etymology would thus be a reference to the initial action knocking over the next item in line.

Thinking further, I suspect this is purely fancy and that there's a far more robust origin!

Looking forward to the outcome of this one.

stales


#49875 12/13/01 04:16 PM
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It is used here in the UK to roughly mean something that happens as a result of a previous action (often but not always unwittingly) .As for knock-off it has a myriad of meanings,

to leave work--- "I knocked off at 4 today"
rapidly compose------- "Iknocked off a letter to my mum"
deduct -----------"I'll knock off 5 from your bill"
stolen -------"everything you could see in the room was knocked off"
spanking the monkey!!!----------"alone in his room, he quietly knocked one off "
to be sexually intimate with--------"unbeknown to his wife Bill had been knocking off the woman next-door"


the Duncster ( lethal bones)


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#49876 12/13/01 04:52 PM
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I use it in the place of "domino effect" and just assumed it had a very simplistic literal (why does that look so wrong) origin. I guess it could have been usurped from the rugby field, but that meaning of knock-on (to illegally knock the ball forward) does not imply consequence.


#49877 12/13/01 05:08 PM
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An US'n meaning:

to kill----The mob goon knocked off his boss's chief rival.

Afterthought

Close to duncan large's to be sexually intimate with would be US'n's knock up:

to get pregnant---Bill knocked up the woman next-door.
Take that, English school boys!

#49878 12/13/01 05:23 PM
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I guess I get it now. In the example I cited, if the University cuts the budget of a department, it must take into account the reduction in services that department will be forced to make.

As for "knock off" in American slang, among other things it refers to price cutting by illegal competitors, who have copied the original using cheaper employees and with clothing, cheaper materials. I also am wearing a Casio watch that looks identical to a Rolex, but cost only fifty bucks. But I didn't know that until after I bought it, so I don't feel guilty.


#49879 12/13/01 05:36 PM
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Dear Lord Faldage: " --Bill knocked up the woman next-door.
Take that, English school boys!"

Regrettably I cannot accuse you of impregnating any of the ewes your serfs entrusted to your care, but I am sure you tried hard to.Take that, Your Lordship!


#49880 12/13/01 06:26 PM
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the ewes your serfs entrusted to your care

You got that backerds, Dr. Bill. *I entrusted the ewes to my *serfs' care. All *I do is tell them where to do it.


#49881 12/13/01 08:10 PM
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Dear Lord Faldage: How can you possibly forget the origin of your title, which meant that your serfs were compelled to leave their ewes in your enclosure overnight, so you could serve the ewes until you were exhausted.


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