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Is flying a kite good or bad?

English translation: Hmmm, interesting question.

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09:22 Aug 27, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Marketing - Advertising / Public Relations / advertising
English term or phrase: Is flying a kite good or bad?
Reposting from the Polish Forum:
A new logo promoting Poland includes a kite flying over the word "Polska." This has stirred up a debate as to whether "flying a kite" does not risk to arouse negative associations with "kite-flying"? Comments from English native speakers will be appreciated.
Jacek Krankowski
English translation:Hmmm, interesting question.
Explanation:
To be honest, I don't think "kite-flying" in the negative financial sense is the first thing that comes to mind nowadays.
I haven't seen it, but I would imagine it's supposed to put across a cheerful, happy-go-luck sort of image -- Poland as a playground, if you will.
If anything, I'd be concerned about other ways of promoting Poland using the logo: for example "go fly a kite" means "go away"!
I certainly hope you've been called in as a consultant on the matter!
For the record, there was a story a while back about Ford's terrible sales record with the Nova in Spanish-speaking countries. To any English-speaker, the Nova brought up an image of a star, but in Spanish it came across as "no va" -- doesn't work! So who'd buy a car like that? :)

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Note added at 2002-08-27 11:39:54 (GMT)
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For the record, a \"kite\" can also mean \"a bad check or similar fictitious or worthless financial instrument used to raise money or maintain credit temporarily\" (Webster\'s definition 5 under \"kite\").
Consequently, to \"kite\" meant getting money or credit by issuing bad checks.
Selected response from:

Catherine Bolton
Local time: 23:38
Grading comment
Thank you all, fellow kite flyers, for having kept me company. I have immensly enjoyed our brainstorming and think you are a wonderful group. I seldom have to go through the pain of awarding points in similar situations, so I will do it on the first come, first served basis, as cbolton was the first to alert me to the potential pitfall of "go fly a kite." Thank you all, also those who agreed. "Just flying a kite" should be another lesson for the design team whom Dan has eventually sent back to the drawing board. I have included a link to this page among comments posted by readers of the Polish newspaper on the relevant portal. Maybe Polish officials will read you before ratifying the logo, although I doubt your honorarium will be more than a mere kite (thank you Nikki for your research!).
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5No negative connotations
Mary Worby
5 +1Hmmm, interesting question.
Catherine Bolton
5 +1A personal view...
Libero_Lang_Lab
5use bad chq to sustain credit / raise money, increase amount of chq fraudulently ; nn :
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
5can be negative in the US
jccantrell
5Are you planning to market to the Taliban?
Libero_Lang_Lab
4Close to the wind!!!!
Sven Petersson
4are there any words in the logo or just the picture of a kite?
CLS Lexi-tech
3It´s not that bad, but ...Chris Rowson


Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Hmmm, interesting question.


Explanation:
To be honest, I don't think "kite-flying" in the negative financial sense is the first thing that comes to mind nowadays.
I haven't seen it, but I would imagine it's supposed to put across a cheerful, happy-go-luck sort of image -- Poland as a playground, if you will.
If anything, I'd be concerned about other ways of promoting Poland using the logo: for example "go fly a kite" means "go away"!
I certainly hope you've been called in as a consultant on the matter!
For the record, there was a story a while back about Ford's terrible sales record with the Nova in Spanish-speaking countries. To any English-speaker, the Nova brought up an image of a star, but in Spanish it came across as "no va" -- doesn't work! So who'd buy a car like that? :)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-27 11:39:54 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

For the record, a \"kite\" can also mean \"a bad check or similar fictitious or worthless financial instrument used to raise money or maintain credit temporarily\" (Webster\'s definition 5 under \"kite\").
Consequently, to \"kite\" meant getting money or credit by issuing bad checks.


Catherine Bolton
Local time: 23:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you all, fellow kite flyers, for having kept me company. I have immensly enjoyed our brainstorming and think you are a wonderful group. I seldom have to go through the pain of awarding points in similar situations, so I will do it on the first come, first served basis, as cbolton was the first to alert me to the potential pitfall of "go fly a kite." Thank you all, also those who agreed. "Just flying a kite" should be another lesson for the design team whom Dan has eventually sent back to the drawing board. I have included a link to this page among comments posted by readers of the Polish newspaper on the relevant portal. Maybe Polish officials will read you before ratifying the logo, although I doubt your honorarium will be more than a mere kite (thank you Nikki for your research!).

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  GoodWords: No disagreement with the points you make, but the Nova story is just a story (urban myth) http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.htm Indeed, I still see 1970's Novas on the road here in Mexico City.
8 hrs
  -> Good story, though!
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
No negative connotations


Explanation:
This obviously depends on your target audience, but having lived in the UK all my life, I can think of no negative connotations of either flying a kite or kite-flying. Perhaps I've led a sheltered life?

Could you enlarge on what you think the negative connotations might be?

Regards

Mary

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Note added at 2002-08-27 12:30:38 (GMT)
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Looking at the logo, I wouldn\'t see any specific problems. Whether it is the best logo for the job is another question entirely!

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Edward L. Crosby III: I see no problems in the U.S., either.
38 mins

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
1 hr

agree  Jack Doughty: "Flying a kite", like "sending up a trial balloon", can mean trying something just to see what the reaction is. But there's nothing negative about it.
1 hr

agree  jerrie
3 hrs

agree  GoodWords: I think that the picture wouldn't evoke the negative connotations in verbal expressions like "go fly a kite", etc.
8 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
are there any words in the logo or just the picture of a kite?


Explanation:
ciao

paola l m


CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 17:38
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Are you planning to market to the Taliban?


Explanation:
If I worked for the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, then I would be asking serious questions...
... kite flying was banned by the Taliban as a decadent and immoral pursuit



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-27 11:52:25 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

But nowadays in Afghanistan, kite flying is all the rage... I was working there earlier this year and there are kids with kites everywhere...

Libero_Lang_Lab
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:38
Native speaker of: English
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Close to the wind!!!!


Explanation:
"High as a kite" means "highly intoxicated"!

Search for something better!


    My geriatric brain.
Sven Petersson
Sweden
Local time: 23:38
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Libero_Lang_Lab: the idiom you mention is 100% correct - but i cannot see this association being created just by a picture of a kite...
3 mins
  -> It is prudent to be careful. I remember when FIAT was going to introduce a compact car called "Fitta" on the Swedish market!
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
It´s not that bad, but ...


Explanation:
When I was a kid I used to fly a kite and it was fun. But in more recent years I heard the phrase mainly in offices, where it was always used by someone who had made a stupid proposal, and then, hearing inescapable flaws pointed out, said "Just flying a kite."

It´s supposed to mean trying an idea out, but in my recent experience it was always an attempt to avoid admitting a stupid suggestion.

Chris Rowson
Local time: 23:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
can be negative in the US


Explanation:
If someone tells you to "go fly a kite" it means to get lost, quit bothering me.

Just having a kite in the logo may not raise this thought. However, I might think long and hard about it. Kids can be VERY inventive and, once they have hit upon negative connotations, these can be very hard to counteract.

I have a funny story about this if you are interested.

jccantrell
United States
Local time: 14:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
use bad chq to sustain credit / raise money, increase amount of chq fraudulently ; nn :


Explanation:
The connotation in financial contexts mean that it might not be the best choice for a financial institution wanting to instill confidence and convey a trustworthy image. However, if a clean fun-loving image is sought (outside financial contexts), then it may be quite innocent. Whether it is serious enough to be professional is a different kettle of fish altogether.


1 - Longman's Dictionary of Business English :

"kite-flying : a dishonest trick practised on banks. An accommodation bill is drawn on a person and is quickly discounted at the bank. It is then found that the person on whom the bill was drawn fails to honour it because he has received no consideration (goods or money in return). Syn. "kiting"."

2 - Bloomsbury's Dic. of Contemporary Slang :

"kite (vb). to pass a worthless cheque"

3 - http://www.bootlegbooks.com/Reference/PhraseAndFable/data/71...

Kite (A), in legal phraseology, is a junior counsel who is allotted at an assize court to advocate the cause of a prisoner who is without other defence. For this service he receives a guinea as his honorarium. A kite on Stock Exchange means a worthless bill. An honorarium given to a barrister is in reality a mere kite. (See below, Kite-Flying .)

Kite-flying To fly the kite is to “raise the wind,” or obtain money on bills, whether good or bad. It is a Stock Exchange phrase, and means as a kite flutters in the air by reason of its lightness, and is a mere toy, so these bills fly about, but are light and worthless. (See Stock Exchange Slang .)

Kitely (2 syl.). A jealous city merchant in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour.

4 - http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=kite


A piece of negotiable paper representing a fictitious financial transaction and used temporarily to sustain credit or raise money.

A bank check drawn on insufficient funds to take advantage of the time interval required for collection.

A bank check that has been fraudulently altered to show a larger amount.

v. kit·ed, kit·ing, kites
v. intr.
To fly like a kite; soar or glide.
To get money or credit with a kite.

v. tr.
To use (a bad check) to sustain credit or raise money.
To increase the amount of (a check) fraudulently.



Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 23:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
A personal view...


Explanation:
... is all I can offer, and that of a British English speaker - so I don't make any claims on the universality of my take on things.

It strikes me, that regardless of all of the possible negative connotations mooted here with regard to idioms containing the word kite, they will not really be the first thing that you think of when you see a picture of a kite. As regards potential pitfalls relating to other languages I have no idea.
Another matter altogether is whether the kite is a suitable image to encapsulate Poland, or for that matter any other country. For me it says very little, and is a bit cheap. In some ways I think it is too simple - like I said before it looks like someone just went through a Word Art menu and picked it - rather than a logo that has been designed specially. The real question is what image is Poland trying to present to the world? If it wants to say: Poland - we're cheaper than Disneyland... well maybe the kite is just about okay.
I would want the design team to be getting back to the drawing board.

Libero_Lang_Lab
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:38
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: Having just returned from Disneyland (my daughter won a prize trip there) I can say that almost anything is cheaper than Disneyland. I also suspect the food is ten times better in Poland than in Disneyland!
12 hrs
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