u_top picture

From the Word Fugitives archive...

Product names used generically

Please note: This page is a read-only archive of messages posted in the Word Fugitives conference of Post & Riposte.


TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (1 of 9), Read 124 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 1998 12:55 PM

Gregory Altreuter, of New York, N.Y., writes: "Many of my friends, family, and acquaintances use the names of products as equivalent to their generic designations: Kleenex for facial tissues, Band-Aid for bandage, White-Out for typing-correction fluid, Xerox for photocopy. While I am convinced there is a word for this process of a trademark entering the vernacular, no one can tell me what it is. Without access to a reverse dictionary, I don't know if I'm totally off base here. Perhaps you can tell me."


TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (2 of 9), Read 110 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Greg Norton (gregnorton@in-tch.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 1998 09:43 PM

Probably "trademark generalization" for when a trademark ceases to be specific to a particular brand but is generalized to cover a category.

Nort.

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (3 of 9), Read 85 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: James Shull (bobbyshull@yahoo.com)
Date: Friday, November 20, 1998 03:49 AM

"Trademark synechdoche"? Not terribly inventive or clever, but serviceable.

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (4 of 9), Read 84 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Judy Lewis (emjclewis@earthlink.net)
Date: Friday, November 20, 1998 01:30 PM

logodoption?

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (5 of 9), Read 62 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Sunday, November 22, 1998 12:21 PM

On 11/20/98 1:30:03 PM, Judy Lewis wrote:
>logodoption?
>

that's very good, but why don't we try to
make the word look like what it means:
(see WF #5)

xeroxidation?
frigidarwinism??
kleenextortion!!

by the way, would a person who coined such a word be called an ycleptomaniac??

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (6 of 9), Read 63 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Sunday, November 22, 1998 01:55 PM

Very nice, Michael. Of course, ycleptomaniacs deserve to be hauled up before Word Court.

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (7 of 9), Read 54 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jason Taniguchi (jasont@ccp.ca)
Date: Monday, November 23, 1998 06:26 PM

From the Toronto Serial Diners Collective:
GPPR. Stands for "Gratuitous Product Placement in Reality". Best we could do in the timex we had to bic something up.

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (8 of 9), Read 24 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: David Honigmann (david_honigmann@mckinsey.com)
Date: Monday, November 30, 1998 07:43 AM

Hoover syndrome?

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) Product names used generically (9 of 9), Read 9 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Tuesday, December 01, 1998 03:48 PM

>Hoover syndrome?

that sucks... 8-)

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) product names used genericly (1 of 2), Read 59 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Kristin Streck (azelana@aol.com)
Date: Saturday, November 21, 1998 02:56 PM

There actually IS a word for this! In business law they call it, predictably, "generification (of a Trademark or brand name)". In order to keep a copyright on the word, a company must prove generification has not occurred and/or that the company has taken reasonable steps to prevent it. This is why one sees ads that say things like "You can't make a Xerox, but you can make the best quality photocopy on a Xerox brand copier."

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 7) product names used genericly (2 of 2), Read 40 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Sunday, November 22, 1998 02:01 PM

I suspected there must be a technical term somewhere. Thank you. Of course, this needn't end the search for a creative alternative ...

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: product names used generically (1 of 2), Read 25 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Morris (transfigure@fuse.net)
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 08:35 PM

perhaps it begs the question, but why not use a brand name to coin a term? how about something like 'Cokeism', since 'Coke' often refers to any soft drink, rather than just Coca Cola? I cannot think of another brand name that works better in this context. what do you think?

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: product names used generically (2 of 2), Read 19 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jeff Taylor (ananda@pioneer.net)
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 10:47 PM

What about "Crescent-wrenching"? Taken to mean sizing the problem with the jaws of your metaphorical wrench, and once the nut is firmly grasped, turning?

"We walked all around it and kicked it a few times, and then discussed the possibilities just to Crescent-wrench the parameters before we tried to break it loose."

(A mechanic will break a rusted nut loose only after softening it up with penetrating oil. Otherwise, the rusted nut can grip the bolt so hard that it will twist it right off. However, using an actual Crescent wrench in that case might be contraindicated.)


Return to the
Court Record index.

Return to the Word Fugitives main page.

Copyright © 1998 by The Atlantic Monthly Company.
Cover Atlantic Unbound The Atlantic Monthly Post & Riposte Atlantic Store Search