Re: Grammar and usage

Subject: Re: Grammar and usage
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 22:57:20 GMT

In article AA15441 -at- syl -dot- nj -dot- nec -dot- com, Laurie Rubin <lmr -at- syl -dot- nj -dot- nec -dot- com> writes:
>> I'm glad you brought this up as I was unaware of this until now. It would
>> seem to me that if a term has become so common as to be a household word
>> (Kleenex being a case in point) that the publicity would offset legal
>> restrictions in the eyes of the producer. IMHO, this takes things to the
>> point of the ridiculous!

>When I first met my husband back in 1978, he just finished a year with
>Xerox Corp. He corrected me when I used phrases similar to "I'm going to
>xerox the paper" or "use the xerox machine" (especially when the copier was
>not made
>by that manufacturer). At that time, he said it was incorrect to use the
>name as a general term, and that the company was using all types of measures
>to prevent the usage (I guess that included brainwashing their employees,

>To tell you the truth, I, too, would think that a company name that became a
>general term MIGHT mean free advertising, unless surveys show that there is no
>correlation between household names and increased sales!

The point the lawyers make is that if a company's product name becomes
a generic, there then becomes no differentiation in the consumer's mind
between any product of that type and their particular brand. If all
tissues and Kleenex become interchangeable, there's no reason for the
consumer to want to buy Kleenex over another brand -- it's all kleenex
to them. However, the lawyer's say that if you continue to make a
distinction (Kleenex tissues vs. Fred's tissues), the consumer
recognizes a difference in type.

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with this
janiceg -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | message is the return address.

"Life is something to do when you can't get to sleep."
-- Fran Lebowitz, _Metropolitan Life_


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