I was reading a friend’s blog last night when I was struck by her use of a well-known, trademarked name in the form of a verb. In one of her movie reviews she said, “just wait and Netflix it”. Isn’t that great! We now have another patented name that we can use as a generic term (or verb) and people know what we mean.You know like Xerox. We use Xerox as a verb all the time. (My computer just automatically capitalized the word for me, also, when I was tying it!) It doesn’t matter if we are using a copier that has another brand name on it, we always say “I’m going to the Xerox machine to Xerox these papers so I can fax my Xeroxes to another location.” There, I just used it as an adjective, verb and noun all in one sentence!
My other favorite term these days that has crept into our lexicon is TiVo. If you tell someone that you are going to TiVo your favorite TV show everyone knows that you intend to record it.
Our language is full of words known as “genericized trademarks”. Here a few of my favorites:
Advil, Crisco, Google, Band-aids, Chapstick, Frisbee, Drano, Liquid Paper, Play-Doh, Redi-Whip, Q-Tips, Vaseline, Thermos, Sharpie, Gatorade, Jacuzzi, Jell-O and Polaroid.
These are all trademarked, brand names that have become so popular that we even use the brand name when referring to a comparable generic form of the same product. So, now we can add Netflix and TiVo to the list. I just need Microsoft Word to get with the program as well and stop underlining these words like they are misspelled!
Can you think of any others? Put on your thinking cap and send me your favorite genericized trademarks! If you can’t come with any others, I’ll be forced to break out the “Kleenex”.