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Fine-Tuning 18, Common Words that Are Proper Nouns

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Wed 23 Jul, 2003 10:31 pm
Some brand names are so widely known that they are used as generic terms. However, in more formal writing than we have here, it's worth keeping an eye to capital letters.

Here's a small list of nouns that are brand names:

Ping-Pong
Jell-O
Scotch tape
Xerox
Yellow Pages
Rolodex
Teflon
Fiberglas (but fiberglass)
Dixie cup
Band-Aid
Kleenex
Q-Tips
Adrenalin (but adrenaline)
Kitty Litter
Seeing-Eye dog
Frisbee
Realtor
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jul, 2003 11:29 pm
Ping-Pong? I'm 'mazed.

What about duct tape or Duck tape?
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 02:20 am
Hiya Piffka,

Duct tape (duck tape), no; Dumpster, yes.
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dupre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 05:25 am
Laudromat
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 09:44 am
You know what makes this even more confusing is when the brand name, to make the packaging look good, for example, Kleenex, will be cleverly printed in all lower case.


Duck tape is a brand name. (Somebody told me about them.)

http://www.duckproducts.com/products/
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 09:58 am
Frigidaire.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 10:53 am
Saran Wrap
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 11:05 am
Dictaphone (in case anyone actually uses one anymore...)

And, while I'm on a roll here, how about:

Mimeograph
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 11:14 am
Hi Piffka, Thanks for the info about Duck tape. It wasn't listed in the dictionary.

D'Art, According to Webster's, mimeograph used to be a trademark name. But now it isn't.

And another one--Velcro.

Keep 'em coming, folks.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 11:15 am
Zippo

Bic
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 11:15 am
Re mimeograph, I noted that, too, Roberta. But what does that mean? The company's defunct, so now we downcase it? (Come to think of it, I may have answered my own question...)
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2003 11:47 pm
to hoover (well, that's 'English' :wink: ),
Teflon,
walkman (discman).
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2003 06:08 am
Skil saw
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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2003 03:59 am
WinVision


I am afraid Jello-O should be Jell-O. See the following --
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:
Jell-O trademark--used for a gelatin dessert usu. with the flavor and color of fruit.

AHD:
Jell-O A trademark used for a gelatin dessert. This trademark often occurs in print without a hyphen and in figurative contexts ...

PS. I didn't get Q-Tips. Who would like to explain it for me?
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2003 08:10 am
Q-Tips is the brand name for cotton swabs on a stick, very popular in the USA, oristarA.

I just learned yesterday that Frisbee is a brand name and should be capitalized.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2003 08:40 am
Well, when you buy cotton BUDS (to use the ENGLISH word for that) here in Germany, you certainly ask for Q-Tips (and get the x-Brand).
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2003 08:47 am
Used my old Monika* this morning (or is it a Gabriele*?) and had to tippex a few words.

Both are the names of formerly very common "travel typewriters".
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2003 08:47 am
Oristar, You caught another of my mistakes. I fixed the list. Thanks for spotting that.

Andy, Frisbee is on the list in the first post. It came as a surprise to me, too.

Walter, When you ask for Q-Tips in the US, you could end up with any brand. The trade name has become about as widely known in a generic sense as any product I can think of.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2003 09:07 am
Walter, I always used an Olympia in pre-computer days.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2003 09:34 am
Andrew :wink:
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