yoda as a genericq

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Tue May 4 22:23:27 UTC 2010

"sure sign" means 'definitive'.

I don't know where you are getting your information about trademark law, but much of what you are saying is dead wrong. I suggest you read Roger Shuy's book on linguistics and trademark before you make any more public pronouncements on the subject. This is a field in which there is a quite a bit of linguistic scholarship. I can send you some references besides Roger's fine book.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
Date:         Tue, 4 May 2010 18:07:00
Subject:      Re: [ADS-L] yoda as a genericq

Ron, you're right--if you believe that "sure sign" is a legal term. Of
course, if I wanted to make it a definitive criterion, I would have
said ... hmm, let me think about it ... I probably would have used
"dispositive" or "legal criterion" or something else that would have
conveyed the meaning "legally binding". Last I checked, "sign", even a
"sure sign" was merely an indication. But, yes, verbing is a much
stronger indication than de-capitalization. The test is actually a
multi-part list. Popular perception is an element, but it is hard to
quantify. More importantly is the lack of enforcement of the
mark-holder against violators who use the mark as a generic term.
Another factor is whether the mark-holder made an effort to
distinguish its product from other similar products--for example, if
they refer to "Kleenex tissues" rather than simply "Kleenex".


On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 5:30 PM,  <ronbutters at aol.com> wrote:
> Victor is simply mistaken when he writes:
> " Trademark law will tell you that
> verbing is a sure sign of genericization, but it says little of capitalization."
> Verbing is one indicator, but not a "sure sign"; ditto capitalization. The test is what people believe. Capitalization and verbing are merely two kinds of empirical evidence.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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