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Why do bike components have English names?(13 posts)

Why do bike components have English names?mmquest
Sep 28, 2002 3:03 PM
I mean, cycling is a European sport dominated by the Italians, French, Spanish, Belgians, etc., right? So why do we have Campy Record and Chorus, Colnago Dream and OvalMaster, Carnac Ellipse and Quartz, etc.? I would think that all the big European manufacturers, like Campy, would have Italian, French, etc. names for their products. Is it just that English is such a widely spoken language?
So you'll buy them nmLeroy
Sep 28, 2002 3:07 PM
English names?filtersweep
Sep 28, 2002 3:15 PM
Carbonissimo, Asso, Technos

Serotta: Hors Categorie, Concours, Ottrott

Bianchi: Alloro, Brave, Campione, Eros, Giro, Imola, Veloce, Vigorelli

I could go on....? It's not ALWAYS true...
Granted, it's not always true...mmquest
Sep 28, 2002 4:47 PM
but there are a number of English names used, more than I would think compared with the number of English-speaking riders in the world.

PS - "Brave" is Italian?
Granted, it's not always true...filtersweep
Sep 28, 2002 5:58 PM
I don't quite think it is pronounced "brave", but rather brah-vay ?

Hey, I get your point, but I DO think many Italian companies play up on being Italian, and market their badges as such. Pretty much everywhere you go in Europe, educated people know or at least understand some English (if they aren't fluent and know grammar better than most Americans).

Many US companies have named many frames after European mountains...
Aren't record and chorus also italian? nmBruno S
Sep 28, 2002 3:59 PM
sure, and 'Dur-acee' (rhymes with Karachi) is too. NMSpunout
Sep 28, 2002 5:22 PM
Aren't record and chorus also italian?tremblay
Sep 28, 2002 7:15 PM
I believe "record" is a word in Italian, but I do not believe "chorus" is italian. The word "chorus" does come the Greek "choros" though...
My derailleur is named Nigel Hawthorne-SmytheMe Dot Org
Sep 28, 2002 6:45 PM
...but my rear brake is named Joe-Bob...

Don't forget Shimano's romantic "105" and "Ultegra". Centaur? Mirage? I think Campy dropped "Daytona" because of Ferrari, not because of Florida.

Seriously, I'm not sure if there is a preponderance of English names. Ellipse and Quartz are also French.
English is global and can be exoticDanoK
Sep 28, 2002 9:28 PM
Like it or not, English is the global language of business, commerce, high-tech, engineering, science, pop culture, you-name-it. Italian companies do market their wares globally and often feel they need an English name for marketing purposes.

Also, Italian companies often give their products English names even for the domestic Italian market. People like products that convey a bit of an exotic, foreign image. I lived in Italy for almost 5 years and never tired of watching Italian cyclists lust for American bikes. Some smaller Italian firms would also give their domestic Italian products some pretty funny English names. Two bike brands I saw regularly there were MYBIKE and IRIDE. There some Italian companies that quite proudly give their products Italian names and realize that it will not hurt their international sales, but they are in the minority.
Interesting insight...thanks! nmmmquest
Sep 28, 2002 9:32 PM
English is globalfiltersweep
Sep 29, 2002 3:12 AM
I always find it interesting when English words become part of a foreign language as a "foreign phrase", much like all the foreign words that become part of English... like hearing a conversation where only the words "for example" jump out... or the mostly truly universal word that seem to exist in ALL languages: "OK" -the origin of which will likely never turly be determined.
Compliments of the American Heritage DictinoaryKen of Fresno
Sep 29, 2002 7:54 AM
WORD HISTORY: Although we use this word hundreds of times a week whether things are OK or not, we have probably rarely wondered about its history. That history is in fact a brief one, the word being first recorded in 1839, though it was no doubt in circulation before then. Much scholarship has been expended on the origins of OK, but Allen Walker Read has conclusively proved that OK is based on a sort of joke. Someone pronounced the phrase all correct as oll (or orl) correct, and the same person or someone else spelled it oll korrect, which abbreviated gives us OK. This term gained wide currency by being used as a political slogan by the 1840 Democratic candidate Martin Van Buren, who was nicknamed Old Kinderhook because he was born in Kinderhook, New York. An editorial of the same year, referring to the receipt of a pin with the slogan O.K., had this comment: "frightful letters . . . significant of the birth-place of Martin Van Buren, old Kinderhook, as also the rallying word of the Democracy of the late election, ‘all correct' . . . Those who wear them should bear in mind that it will require their most strenuous exertions . . . to make all things O.K."