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Old 28-07-2014, 11:41
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Takk Takk is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chasing ManBearPig through the Alps
Age: 40
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Originally Posted by Bathtub View Post
I know it's widely accepted, but I still think there are reasons to avoid it.

Hoovering only makes sense if you know what a hoover is (a brand of vaccum cleaner). I'd wager that plenty of English speakers in other countries would not be familiar with hoover in the way that we use it, i. e. to clean the carpet. (It's also confusing because the other widely accepted meaning of hoover as a verb is to eat something quickly. So if you say "I hoovered up the bread crumbs" it could mean you ate them or you vaccumed them. No such confusion if you say "I vaccumed up the bread crumbs.")

Same with other trademark nouns that have become verbs, like Photoshop. "I photoshopped our holiday pictures" only makes sense if the person/people you are talking to knows what Photoshop is. Same goes for Xerox/Facebook etc, it's not inclusive language. I don't see why you'd ever use a brand name that has become a verb when you can use an existing generic verb and be more widely understood. "I facebooked her" is far less clear in meaning than "I sent her a message on Facebook". In the latter you don't need to know what Facebook is to at least get some idea that you are communicating with the subject of the sentence. In the first example, unless you knew what Facebook was, you would assume that someone had been whacked in the face with a book.
I guess, but that's true of any colloquialisms or slang. I don't really see it being wrong or needs avoiding, rather that language evolves over time to pick up these kinds of things. 'facebooked her' is not clear in meaning, but xerox, hoover etc only have one meaning.

I mean, velcro, sellotape, Fedex, rollerblade to name a few i thought of and googled, which in itself is a useful one

Last edited by Takk; 28-07-2014 at 12:43.
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