Re: Is there a name for these?

Subject: Re: Is there a name for these?
From: Bridget M Kerr <BMKERR -at- MAIL -dot- DELCOELECT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 10:54:33 -0500

On Wed, 23 Apr 1997, Debbie Molinaro wrote:

> Is there a word to describe trade names that have become standards?
> For example, Kleenex, Coke, Aspirin, Xerox are often used to describe
> the entire class of products rather than the generic terms. (As in
> Kleenex = tissue, Coke = cola, Aspirin = A.S.A, Xerox = to copy)

It is my understanding that if a registered trademark becomes commonly
used as a "standard" it could lose its trademark status and thus its value.

Are you looking for a legal-type term or a linguistics-type term? I
have a vague memory of hearing a linguistics term for this phenomenon,
but I can't recall the word. Something like synecdoche, but not quite.
I know I'm not much help, but that might jog someone else's memory...

<fades back into the crowd of observers>

* * *
Bridget Kerr
Technical Writer and Trainer
Delco Electronics Corporation

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