Native English speakers, could you please help me with these issues?

Consider the following sentence:

"Canada goose TRIMS its coats of fur of coyotes."

Canada Goose seems to be a trademark.

(By the way, does it make sense to say 'a trademark' in this contexto, or should one say 'a brand'?)

So, what does it mean 'trim'? (Does it have to do with putting fur on the edges of the coats?)

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago
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    You are correct. "Trim" is nearly always used to describe some amending or modifying process having to do with the ends or or edges of fabric or hair, but the idea is very portable. For example, one can CUT OFF the tips of branches of a tree and call it "trimming the tree" OR in the case of a tree that is moved indoors and covered with holiday decorations, the act of HANGING the decorations (which go on its exterior - that is, the ENDS of the branches) is also sometimes called "trimming the tree".

    In cutting fabric for a garment, or any material for assembly into something larger, there is often a first cut to a size or shape that is close to what is desired, and then a more careful cut to the exact dimensions required. The second cut is often called "trimming", particularly with fabric or sheet metal.

    One can also serve an elaborate main dish such as roast beef on a platter, surrounded at its EDGES with vegetables in a decorative manner, and this sort of meal is sometimes described as "(the main dish) with all the trimmings". "Trimmings" in this sense can also be used to describe additional dishes or condiments that are traditionally served along with that main dish.

    A person's hair is often "cut" to a desired length, but if that only involves minor bits (the ENDS) of hair being removed, "cut" is replaced with "trimmed". A general neatening or refinement of the hair's appearance is thus "a trimming" or "a trim" - which also works for trees, bushes, and lawns. (Often, the cut-off portions are referred to as "trimmings".)

    "Trimming" is also the adjustment of the distribution of a sailing vessel's cargo and ballast to cause her to ride the sea with her deck level, both fore and aft, and beam-wise. (This is called being "in trim".) The word is also used in aircraft, when small control surfaces at the EDGES of ailerons, rudder and elevator are positioned so the pilot does not have to constantly apply force to the steering controls. (Those small control surfaces are called "trim tabs".)

    In the case of your coats, the manufacturers are using the word in a way similar to the holiday tree example, meaning that they have DECORATED the seams (the EDGES or ENDS where the various pieces of fabric come together) with coyote fur.

    And, yes - if one was trying to emphasize that a particular noun or noun-modifier combination was a commercial name or trademark, one would usually use the word "brand". However, the use of the word "brand" introduces some awkwardness. To wit, one would not say "Canada Goose brand trims its coats" because a brand is incapable of performing actions outside of a very narrow range of verbs. A brand cannot "trim". This noun-verb incompatibility is escaped by re-structuring the sentence to "Canada Goose-brand coats are trimmed...". (Note the use of the hyphen. This is needed because "brand" would usually require an article such as "the" in front, and that would make the sentence even MORE awkward and complicated. To avoid the article, the hyphen is required.) At this point, we are delving into niceties, upon which UK English and American English begin to diverge.

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  • 1 month ago

    Are you sure you have copied the sentence correctly? If 'Canada Goose' is indeed a brand, why is there no capital 'G'?

    And are you sure it says 'trims its coats OF fur of coyotes'? Because this is very poor English.

    A native English speaker says, "Canada Goose trims its coats WITH coyote fur".

    Not 'fur of coyotes'. And 'with', not 'of'.

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