Talk:knock-on effect

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Don't we normally list the literal meaning first (i.e. the continued running of an engine after the ignition is cut) then the figurative/idiomatic meaning? The literal meaning is certainly common in the US, by the way, so the figurative use would be automatically understood. --Connel MacKenzie 18:21, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Clarification: I agree that the figurative use is very rare in the US, and therefore should be listed as a UK idiom. --Connel MacKenzie 18:22, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Feel free to add the literal meaning. Also, I use British English but I don't always know if what I say is purely British or not.zigzig20s 18:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, I'll take a shot at it. By the way, it is very interesting to note that the American idiom is domino effect. Did the French pick it up from American, or American from French?  :-)   --Connel MacKenzie 18:26, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
No idea. To be fair, I don't think anyone in England would be too fazed by the phrase 'domino effect' - we hear so many American things on TV, etc. I'm not even sure that it would sound so American...not to young people anyway.zigzig20s 18:37, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I've removed the "US" from the see also. I think both are understood (obvious.) If someone has a better idea for representing that one or the other might be preferred, I'd like to hear it! --Connel MacKenzie 18:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Questionable definition (dieseling)[edit]

I have been seaching, without success, for evidence that the phrase "knock-on effect" is used to refer to dieseling in a car. In the US, dieseling is commonly called "knocking," not "knock on." If the phrase has been used in this way, in print, can someone please supply a citation? Otherwise, I will probably remove the first definition, which I cannot locate outside of this wiktionary entry.

On a related note, I've been searching for the earliest appearance of the phrase "knock-on effect" in print, and the earliest one I have found is from an article in Science, vol. 170 (1970), p. 281 ("The conversion process by which charged particles are produced from the others might be a 'knock-on' effect, such as the production of high-energy protons by neutrons passing through hydrogenous material"). Most early printed citations seem to come from the world of physics.

I think the literal meaning is more likely to refer to a billiard-ball effect or something of the sort. In fact, I am not sure how one would get from a dieseling effect to a domino effect, but a billiard-ball effect and a domino effect are essentially the same thing (one object knocks on another and transfers its momentum). Still, it is notable that I have found no instances of the phrase being used "literally," unless perhaps these early physics citations are using it in a literal sense (one particle knocks on another).

On another, perhaps related note, the OED has "Rugby Football. The act of knocking the ball forward" as the definition of "knock-on", from 1845. --Potosino 14:48, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

It occurs to me that "knock-on effect" is almost a direct translation of the late Latin repercussio (repercussion), which would be a good enough definition of the phrase. --Potosino 17:42, 21 January 2011 (UTC)


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I have been searching, without success, for evidence that the phrase "knock-on effect" is used to refer to dieseling in a car. In the US, dieseling is commonly called "knocking," not "knock on." If the term "knock-on effect" has ever been used to mean "dieseling," can anyone please supply a citation? Otherwise, I think this definition should be removed. I cannot find any mention of this meaning for "knock-on effect" outside of this wiktionary entry. —This comment was unsigned.
I found a definition of knock-on ("a knock-off nut") in an automotive glossary, which makes it even less likely that there is current use of the term with the definition being challenged. And w:Knock-on refers to other things, including a rugby and a physics sense. DCDuring TALK 03:23, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
My understanding has been (please correct if I'm wrong) that knocking and dieseling are two different things. Knocking refers to preignition and associated abnormal sound (a.k.a. knock ) in a spark-ignited motor, or the normal running sound of a diesel motor, which was especially audible in the older engines. Dieseling is the continued running of a spark-ignited motor after the motor has been turned off from the key. If dieseling and knocking are actually synonymous, we need a new sense to "dieseling". --Hekaheka (talk) 05:40, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
To DCDuring: true about w:Knock-on; however, I don't find any other uses for "knock-on effect" other than the first definition given.
To Hekaheka: I'm sure that is true, and probably the entry for "dieseling" should be corrected. But my point here is that "knock-on effect" does not refer to any sort of car-engine noise, regardless of cause, and therefore that definition should be removed altogether from the "knock-on effect" entry. Does anyone disagree? (Also, too, how does this work? Is there a time limit, or does there need to be a vote or something? I just want to fix the danged entry and was informed I should go through this process instead of just fixing it myself like we did in the old days.)--Potosino (talk) 16:24, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Where the problem is one of meaning, the RfV tag is inserted. Someone has to come up with citations before the later of 30 days or when a veteran contributor decides to close the RfV. Closing occurs when the closer thinks the matter has gotten sufficient attention and will not be getting any more that would be likely to change the outcome. DCDuring TALK 19:50, 2 October 2013 (UTC)