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There is this Reebok ad, "Life puts never in its place." What does it mean? Does it mean that in life you don't put anything in its place? that you don't take the easy way out?

  • Could you provide more context; perhaps a link to the ad? – Michael Owen Sartin Jan 10 '14 at 16:56
  • I don't have a link to the ad..thank you. – user61886 Jan 13 '14 at 12:02
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For the primary overt meaning, never say never suffices. However, good slogans often have layers of meaning.

The reader will come away with this phrase however hard they try to parse the slogan away from it:

never in its place

I suspect this is intentional, and has a special appeal to those who would like to see themselves as rebels, who cannot be put in their place because they, and perhaps their possessions, are never "in their place".

This reading leverages a youth divide. Everything in its place is the instruction of boring parents and teachers, while making things never in place suggests the (sometimes messy) jostling of seeking one's own destiny.

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My immediate interpretation is this:

People who say "never" turn down risks, miss opportunities, and don't live life to the fullest. A life well and fully lived is a life in which one avoids saying "never" and "puts never in its place" by making experiences and risks a higher priority.

  • Yes, the ad is using the word never to mean the act of saying the word "never", as in "I'll never be able to run a marathon". The implication is that the act of living life (as long as you wear Reebok, presumably) is a victory against defeatism. – dg99 Jan 10 '14 at 17:14
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Ah, this is not an easy one to grok. There are a few expressions rolled up into one, and the personification/objectification of a concept like "never" makes it even harder.

The meaning I assume they hope to convey is like "never say never", and "nothing is impossible". Our experience of life and knowledge of history tends to show us that things that were thought would never happen, like people flying or a black man becoming US president, end up happening anyway.

So, it could be said that "Life" itself puts "never" "in its place", and that place is that "never" is just a matter of time before someone or something does it anyway.

It would seem to be an encouragement to refuse to believe someone who tells you you aren't capable of something, or that something will never be accomplished, and so on.

In other words, "just do it". Oh wait, that's Nike...

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To "put someone in their place" is to humiliate or humble someone. It is the act of showing someone they are not as important as they think they are.

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