knock-on effect = domino effect?

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NoClue

Senior Member
Vietnam, Vietnamese
Here is the context:

There's concern about falling U-S consumer confidence and the knock-on effect of U-S housing loan defaults.

I don't know if I understand what a Domino effect is. Is it a row of Domino pieces, and when you push the first one to, the whole row collapses?

Is that a knock-on effect?
 
  • The Slippery Slide

    Senior Member
    British English
    They are more-or-less the same thing, although a knock-on effect might only refer to one or two consequences. "Domino effect" suggests a longer chain of consequences.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The knock-on effect is a secondary effect of some event. Because loan defaults are creating a problem in the housing market, that problem may effect other segments of the total national economy. Domino effect is the figurative meaning of what you have described literally. The best example was the argument that the administrative branch of the American government gave for pouring troops into South Viet Nam; that if South Viet Nam fell to the Communists there would be a domino effect in other East Asian nations. It would have been a knock-on effect if it had happened.
     

    NoClue

    Senior Member
    Vietnam, Vietnamese
    The knock-on effect is a secondary effect of some event. Because loan defaults are creating a problem in the housing market, that problem may effect other segments of the total national economy. Domino effect is the figurative meaning of what you have described literally. The best example was the argument that the administrative branch of the American government gave for pouring troops into South Viet Nam; that if South Viet Nam fell to the Communists there would be a domino effect in other East Asian nations. It would have been a knock-on effect if it had happened.
    What is it in this sentence? The failure in East Asia? Sorry I dstill don't get the difference of the 2. Please explain again.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    No Clue My post was only another example of domino effect and knock-on effect. The argument that there would be one communist take-over after another was a theory only. South Vietnam did become united as a Communist nation. The domino effect did not happen. If if had, that happening would have been the knock-out effect. Let me use a present example of the American invasion of Iraq. There is no domino theory there. But, as a result of the invasion a knock-on effect has happened. Iraq is engaged in a Civil War with elements of anarchy. You would have expected that when the American troops entered Bagdad and captured Sadam that the warfare would have been over. Instead, the consequence of the invasion was the Civil War. Let me know if you still need more explanation. We have some very wise English speakers on this forum tonight.
     

    Prometo

    Senior Member
    USA English
    NoCLue,

    Knock-on = Have an effect on, usually by causing events

    Domino effect = [What you wrote is correct]

    The "Domino Theory" was one of the reasons given by the USA to justify it's military presence during the so-called VietNam War of the 1960's

    It held that if Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) fell to Hanoi, then all of the other countries in Indochina and beyond would also fall like domino pieces as they would "be taken over" by Chinese-controlled socialism and added to the Red Bloc of nations.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    They are more-or-less the same thing, although a knock-on effect might only refer to one or two consequences. "Domino effect" suggests a longer chain of consequences.
    I almost agree with TSS - I think the difference is more emphatic :)

    The threat of the domino effect was that if the US let Vietnam go, all of the other countries in the region would follow, one after another, clackety clackety clack - like a row of dominoes.
     

    NoClue

    Senior Member
    Vietnam, Vietnamese
    Tell me in the following sentence, which consequence the knock-on effect is, curing sore throat or causing pimples?

    It's advertised that "This medicine cures sore throat but may cause pimples"
     

    NoClue

    Senior Member
    Vietnam, Vietnamese
    No Clue My post was only another example of domino effect and knock-on effect. The argument that there would be one communist take-over after another was a theory only. South Vietnam did become united as a Communist nation. The domino effect did not happen. If if had, that happening would have been the knock-out effect. Let me use a present example of the American invasion of Iraq. There is no domino theory there. But, as a result of the invasion a knock-on effect has happened. Iraq is engaged in a Civil War with elements of anarchy. You would have expected that when the American troops entered Bagdad and captured Sadam that the warfare would have been over. Instead, the consequence of the invasion was the Civil War. Let me know if you still need more explanation. We have some very wise English speakers on this forum tonight.
    In another words, do you mean that "If the domino effect had happened, it would have been the knock on effect". That just means they are both the same thing?
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Not quite. The knock-on effect is something which happens unexpectedly. In Viet Nam the American administration [president] expected the result of a communist united Viet Nam would be to trigger the domino theory. Instead, and unexpected by the administration, Laos and Cambodia have remained independent. So there was no domino theory but there was a knock-on effect. The knock-on effect would have happened with or without the domino effect. In the other example, Iraq, there is no domino effect by the knock-on effect--unexpected result--is happenng.
     

    The Slippery Slide

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't quite agree. The immediate target of the action is hit intentionally. As far as I can see, the terms "knock-on effect" and "domino effect" both refer to things affected second-hand as a result of the effect on the target object. Except that 'knock-on effect" is referring to an episode, and domino effect to a series. Either may be foreseen, and either may not be.

    However, it's interesting how, to the American-English speakers in this thread, the phrase "domino theory" seems so be strongly associated with Vietnam. Perhaps that's why there are slightly different perception of its meaning. The non-US posters in this thread have approached it from a different angle. Interesting.
     
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