In article ,
Jeremy Nixon wrote:
Chris Brown wrote:
Can you think of any change to the language perpetrated by marketing
that was good?
To pick a random example, we have the verb "to hoover", which avoids
overloading the noun, "vacuum" by turning it into a verb.
Wow... I've never heard the verb "to hoover".
That's most likely because you're from North America, and it's a British
(I'm sure the folks at the Hoover company wouldn't be too
happy about it, either.)
On the contrary, I believe they are entirely happy with the word "hoover"
having come to be a generic term for vacuum cleaner, and the currency of the
associated verb. Indeed, AIUI they positively encouraged the use. It's
probably responsible for a good section of the dwindling market share they
have left. It used to be the case that everyone hoovered with a Hoover. Now
everyone hoovers with a Dyson.
I understand there's a near parallel in American English with "kleenex"
(although there's no associated verb). In British English, there's no such
improper noun (they're just "tissues"), only a proper noun.
Or for something more modern, and with more international currency, try "to
google" - much more managable than "to search the Internet".
I really hope that one never makes it past pop-culture slang.
I believe it's in the OED.
It is worth noting, in that case, that the word "google" actually has
another meaning, one that has almost certainly already been destroyed
beyond hope of recovery.
If you're thinking of 10^100 then you're wrong, that's a googol. The name of
the search engine is a pun on that.