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I Want to be like Kleenex

Kleenex. Chapstick. Xerox. Google.

What do all these brand names have in common?

When was the last time you were a guest at someone's house, your nose was running, and you asked, "Do you have any bathroom tissue?" Note, not all 3 criteria need be met; the idea is what counts.

Or, if your lips were dry and flaky, did you ever turn to your (mom, best friend...insert someone whose lips you trust here) and ask, "Can I borrow your lip balm?"

Boss to underling: Go Xerox this document and bring it to the meeting.
Underling to boss: Sir? Don't we have RICOH copiers? I didn't know we had a Xerox machine.
Boss to underling: Whatever, go make a copy.

And, last but not least, earlier today while talking on the phone with my sister - I took a break from blogging long enough to answer the phone and set up a time to go for a dog walk - I tried to tell her what I'd been doing all morning, and she didn't understand what "social networking" meant. So, I said, "ugh, go Google me and you'll know what I'm talking about."

The thing is, all these companies have transcended mere brand awareness and moved into "genericized trademark" status. I purposefully didn't include the copyright symbols behind these brand names, not just because I'm lazy and I don't want to, but also because I'm trying to prove a point.

That is, once you've moved from brand awareness into becoming a "generic trademark" you no longer get the right to claim the trademark symbol every time someone writes about you. If you've earned the right to be the "colloquial description for (or synonymous with) a particular class of product or service*", then you've subsequently lost the right to your trademark symbol appearing in every publication. (Based on context, of course)

Anyway, my random thought happens to be the longing for someone, some day, to say "wow, that was a Bernier-ism". Meaning "wow, that was random".

On a side note, I think my dog is already nose-to-nose with me in this race, as I've already started to identify things that're stinky with a comment of "ish, that smell is so ZADA!" She innocently sleeps on at my feet this very instant, lost in some doggy dream and contentedly exuding a noxious gas from her rear end.

On a random other side note (since that's what I want to be known for, of course), my grandmother is coming to visit for Easter, and will arrive in town this coming Wednesday. Us girls (Mom, Grandma, Amy and I) are all going to lunch. Should be a fun time.

* From Wikipedia