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Archive for June 27th, 2009

This is not Pavement.

This is not Pavement.

Twice in the past week I have had discussions about the phrase “new and improved”, mostly starting by someone saying that an item cannot be both. Let us look at this.

The way I see this phrase is that an object can hold the characteristics of new as well as the characteristics of improved.

If I have a drawer full of forks that are all used and slightly worn and someone gives me an identical model fork but right from the factory it is then a new fork. Even though I have many like it, this one has not been uesd.

Now if I take an existing fork and tape a guiding laser along the tines the fork is very much improved.

So if someone gives me a new from the factory fork that is the same as all the rest, except that it now has a guiding laser would it not then be new and improved?

I can see where the phrases can be contradictory and it is really all tied up in how the word “new” is interpreted. If it is read as being the first ever made or never before experienced then something cannot be new and improved. If improvements can only be made on existing items and new items cannot have existing before then there is indeed a contradiction.

But if I improve something in a new way then this particular object is new by improvement. Wouldn’t that be new and improved?

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