Reader question: "Is 'endorse' the same as 'support', only that
'endorse' is more formal than the latter? Give usage examples, please."
Yes, you can say in the manner of speaking that
"endorse" is a formal word for support. But the two are not exactly
One may support a candidate running for public office in the same sense
that one endorses a candidate by going to rallies and shouting his name
out loud. Or one may support a product in the same sense that one endorses
it by doing a television commercial for it in exchange for free lifetime
use of the product.
By support, one may do nothing other than share a private feeling of
approval of the person or product in question. By endorsement, however,
one may in fact have to demonstrate that feeling in some fashion.
To say you support Da Zha Xie, the dainty meat crab from the Shanghai
area, you may perhaps mean nothing more than that you intend to keep
eating it in spite of recent allegations that some crabs exported to
Taiwan from the Yangcheng Lake area might contain substances that lead to
Or you might just be in agreement with local producers who've insisted
that their crabs are healthy.
When you endorse a product, however, you have to do more than harbor a
fond feeling for it.
Yao Ming the basketball player, for example, endorses Reebok shoes.
That means he has to wear Reebok shoes in all games even if, in the manner
of speaking, there may be better shoes around - he can not wear shoes of
any other brand. For this sacrifice, he is paid a lot of money. In fact,
Yao's multi-year deal with Reebok is worth US$70 million dollars.
Earlier this month, Yao Ming had surgery to remove the big toe nail on
his left foot after an injury. He had the same problem last year and had a
similar surgery with his right foot.
When Houston Rockets (Yao's team) coach Jeff Van Gundy pointed directly
to Reebok for making the kind of shoes that keep giving Yao the same kind
of toe woes, however, Yao stood up to clear the air for Reebok saying
unequivocally that it was "not the shoes."
Yao blamed it on Mother Nature instead. He told the Houston Chronicle
(October 11, 2006):
"The doctor told me I have a special foot because my big toe is longer
than my second toe. In 90 percent of people, the second toe is at least
even with the big toe. I'm different, so that means more pressure on the
However you may interpret it, one thing is for sure - Yao always seems
to know what's politically correct to say.
The same can not be said, though, of George W. Bush, the man currently
residing the White House. Bush does not always know whom he endorses, as
demonstrated in the following story (Salon.com, October 26, 2006):
Dave's Not Here
By Tim Grieve
There's nothing like a personal endorsement from the president to give
your campaign a boost, so the Republican candidate running in Iowa's 3rd
Congressional District must have been thrilled to share a stage with
George W. Bush Thursday.
"No doubt in my mind, with your help, Dave Lamberti will be the next
United States congressman," Bush said at a Lamberti for Congress event in
Des Moines. "Dave and I believe a lot of things. We believe that you ought
to keep more of your own money. We believe in family values. We believe
values are important. And we believe marriage is a fundamental institution
Dave probably also believes that the president's endorsement would have
meant more if he'd looked like he knew who he was endorsing. The
Republican running in Iowa's 3rd is Jeff Lamberti.