Does Scotch tape refer to any other brand of transparent adhesive tape?

Reply Sat 9 Mar, 2019 10:49 am
Does Scotch tape refer to any other brand of transparent adhesive tape? Or should it strictly be the Scotch brand? Similarly, if I scotch taped my
drawings to the wall, does it mean that I used adhesive tape bearing Scotch brand to do the job.

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Reply Sat 9 Mar, 2019 10:56 am
You're asking about a proprietary eponym


Proprietary eponyms are another matter entirely. These are general words that are, or were at one time, proprietary brand names or service marks. Kleenex, for example, is a brand of facial tissues, yet the word is used today to refer to facial tissues of any brand. Xerox is a brand of photocopy machine; that word, too, has been since adopted to refer to any brand of photocopy machine and, moreover, also employed as a verb to describe the act of photocopying. As this illustrates, although brand names are proper adjectives (as in, "Kleenex facial tissues"), when such terms are adopted for general use they tend to become nouns and often also verbs.
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Reply Sat 9 Mar, 2019 11:02 am
I think legally it is a trademarked brand name. If someone tried to market a product using that name, they would probably be sued.

But people do commonly use the term to refer to any such transparent tape regardless of the manufacturer. So from the perspective of English language usage, I would say it refers to any such tape regardless of the manufacturer.
Reply Sat 9 Mar, 2019 02:16 pm
So does masking tape, duct tape, electrician's tape, decorator's tape, invisible tape, and painter's tape - to name a few.

Use lower case letters for scotch tape unless you are referring to the brand name, Scotch tape.

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Reply Sat 9 Mar, 2019 04:49 pm
Scotch tape is a brand name as is Sellotape, Americans tend to refer to all types of sticky tape as Scotch tape, in the UK we refer to them as Sellotape. Legally only the brand owner can market themselves as such.
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Reply Sat 9 Mar, 2019 05:30 pm
For me Scotch Tape is very brand specific. Any other clear tape would be referred to as tape. I would say 'hand me the tape' if it were similar to the Scotch Tape but a different or unknown brand.

Similarly, I would state 'duct tape ' or 'packing tape' - specifying clear or tan or 'electrical tape' (usually a black rubberized).

For myself, 'adhesive tape ' is a specific type and would refer to the medical sort of tape used in medical situations.

This may be something which varies from country to country and regionally.
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