When I was a kid, my mother would give me a Popsicle® whenever I had a fever. It’s not that I only ate one at a time of sickness. Because I was given a Popsicle® whenever I was sick, I often associate them with a fever. 😊) But isn’t it cool (pun not intended, though it should have been 😊) that a Popsicle was invented “by an 11-year-old named Frank Epperson” (according to the Popsicle® website)?
Popsicle®. Kleenex®. ChapStick®. Post-it® notes. All of these are registered trademarks. But I admit to routinely using these names as generic forms. “Can I get a Kleenex®?” rather than “a tissue.” “Thanks for the ChapStick,®” I said to someone, though the product was really Burt’s Bees®—yet another trademarked brand—or lip balm.
Ever say, “Toss me that flying disc?” Or is your go-to (like mine), “Toss me that Frisbee®?”
I used Popsicle® above, but the generic term is ice pop. Since my mother happened to buy the brand, I could use the name. But here is a quote from the company website:
Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle® and Yosicle® are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies and can only be used to identify the frozen confection products of Unilever. . . . Misuse of these trademarks may violate Unilever’s very valuable rights.
Back when I was a full-time in-house editor, routinely emails were sent as a reminder to avoid using brand names as if they were the generic forms. But I still slip up and use Post-it® notes instead of sticky notes.
This is not a slap-on-the-wrist post telling you to use generic names. But I am curious if you do or don’t. Please feel free to comment below.
Popsicle® image from the Popsicle® website. Other photo by L. Marie.