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    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #1

    Kodak

    Hi,
    “Kodak invited consumers to “Kodak as you go”, turning the brand name into a dangerously ambiguous verb”.
    I’ve got two questions.
    1. What does the slogan mean?
    2. Why is it dangerously ambiguous?

    Thanks for your help.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: Kodak

    The slogan means to take pictures at any time and wherever you want.
    The phrase 'dangerously ambiguous' stumps me, too.

    From Kodak - OneLook Dictionary Search

    kodak (v.) To photograph with a kodak; hence, to describe or characterize briefly and vividly.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Kodak

    Kodak was taking a risk with the slogan "Kodak as you go," as the phrase could have easily turned their brand name into a generic term. Since the word "Kodak" was made up in the first place, saying "Kodak as you go" is an ambiguous phrase, and once the meaning became clear (take pictures with their camera wherever you go), people might have started using "Kodak" as a generic term, like they do with Kleenex and Xerox. (Just like in England, where people say "Hoovering" instead of "vacuuming".) Had that happened, Kodak might have had difficulty trademarking their name.

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    #4

    Re: Kodak

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Kodak was taking a risk with the slogan "Kodak as you go," as the phrase could have easily turned their brand name into a generic term. Since the word "Kodak" was made up in the first place, saying "Kodak as you go" is an ambiguous phrase, and once the meaning became clear (take pictures with their camera wherever you go), people might have started using "Kodak" as a generic term, like they do with Kleenex and Xerox. (Just like in England, where people say "Hoovering" instead of "vacuuming".) Had that happened, Kodak might have had difficulty trademarking their name.
    This Ouish shows how stupid some advertisers are. They think they can make their trade name a generic word by imposing it on people. They forget that words like: kleenex, xerox and hoover were created by people (not by companies) who used them. Sometimes a company cannot anticipate what will become of their product's name. For example with the advent of email communication people started using spam as a generic word for junk mail. As far I know the company even wanted to take legal action. But now maybe it is just good luck for spam although a lot of people are not aware that spam is a product. Kodak as a verb has no (wide) currency.

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: Kodak

    Great explanation, Ouish. "Ambiguous" as in unclear, not as in more than one possible meaning. The linguist in me...

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: Kodak

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    This Ouish shows how stupid some advertisers are. They think they can make their trade name a generic word by imposing it on people.
    Wow. I didn't get that reading at all. Interesting take.

    The reading I got from Ouish's explanation was this. Dangerously ambiguous because the word Kodak not having been clearly defined/explained at the time could have taken on a pejorative meaning. As a writer, you might feel the same way if, say, a line from your work was misused.

    Kodak as you go never caught on, but Kodak moment has: Urban Dictionary.


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
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    #7

    Re: Kodak

    The phrase 'dangerously ambiguous verb' seems quite ambiguous itself! I would read that to mean that 'to Kodak' has/had no defined meaning, so people could read whatever they wanted into 'Kodak as you go'


    The linguist in me...
    This is also dangerously ambiguous...


    Kodak as you go never caught on, but Kodak moment has: Urban Dictionary.
    I can honestly say that I have never heard either phrase.

    I remember a brand of cigar advertising 'a (brand name) moment', the moment being when everything has gone horribly wrong, and you could relax by smoking a cigar. I can remember the advert, I can remeber the music, but I can't remember the brand.

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: Kodak

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Whitehead View Post
    The phrase 'dangerously ambiguous verb' seems quite ambiguous itself! ...so people could read whatever they wanted into 'Kodak as you go'
    Now that you mentioned 'verb', I see two, "Kodak" and "go". The latter has more than one meaning. However, 'verb' in our example sentence refers to 'Kodak', not 'go', but modify the sentence slightly and,

    Kodak invited customers to "Kodak as you go", [associating] the brand name [with] a dangerously ambiguous verb."


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #9

    Re: Kodak

    Thank you all very much.

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