The following is an open email I recently sent to One of a Kind (OAK), a boutique clothing store. I was curious about their slogan “If you know you know.”
I never got a reply, but I never expected to:
I was walking past your 333 Queen St. West location in Toronto, and I was intrigued by your slogan.
Putting a comma after the first “know” significantly changes the meaning of the phrase.
- If you know, you know.
This means: if you are aware, then you know.
It’s a complete phrase, but it requires the comma.
- If you know you know.
This means: if you are aware that you know, then …
Without the comma, the phrase is not complete. Then what?
Do you intend the slogan to be taken in the second sense, where you haven’t finished the thought, or is the omission of the comma unintentional? Or perhaps you punctuated it as you did so people would ask you about it?