Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fun with trademarks

These words were once trademarks:
  • Cola (the last word in the two-word name on the red can with the swoosh)
  • Aspirin (Bayer)
  • Yo-yo (Whammo)
  • Hula hoop (Whammo again, I think)
  • Heroin (Bayer again, I think)

The companies that own these trademarks are fighting to keep them from becoming generic:

  • Kleenex (tissues)
  • Xerox (copies)
  • Photoshop (modify a photo)
  • Coke (some Southerners use this term for any soft drink)
  • Google (internet search - not making eyes, or talking about really big numbers)

I seriously never heard a "tissue" called a "Kleenex" until I moved down here.


Sarah said...

I almost always call tissues "kleenexes" (kleenex's?).

What about band-aids? I never hear anyone say "bandages."

hamiam said...

oh yeah...

I'm so on board with all of those at risk of losing their trademarks.

'cept for the coke thing (on my behalf that is, I am well aware of the southern overuse) since I am a "soda" girl in "pop" country.

It's weird to me to think that heroin was a trademarked term...

S. said...


susan said...

And to think that you are filing this list that shows just how incredibly fascinating English is under "not much going on"? Bad filing, I say!

ccw said...

I say tissue but I have heard many people say kleenex.

band-aids, saran wrap, Q-tips

I have also heard people refer to all feminine hygiene products as Kotex.

Magpie said...

I always call it kleenex, even if it's really toilet paper or a paper towel - and I'm from NY! I didn't know that aspirin and heroin had ever been trademarked. Interesting.

KLee said...

I plead guilty to being one of those southerners that call everything a Coke. It's typical usage here. :)

Eva said...

Oh yeah, I totally call them kleenexes, and xeroxes, etc. Interesting stuff.

purple_kangaroo said...

Theoretically, I think I'm for companies being able to keep their trademarks. Practically, I still have to make an effort in order to not call tissues kleenexes.

Mummy/Crit said...

Glad-wrap (Aus equiv of Saran) I grew up with people who used Hoover as a verb. The thing about Google though, is - do people use it for search engines other than Google? I only ever hear it used 'correctly'as a verb, though in general I cringe at noun-verb mix ups (ie plating food, gifting an item....)Kleenex, and Band-Aids I tend to use the brand name item anyway.