Manners & Misdemeanors

Xerox, Kodak, and More Brands We've Been Using as Verbs

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How do you stop an entire nation from using a particular word that's been part of their culture for decades now? You take out a newspaper notice, apparently. At least, that's what Japan-based company Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. thought to do. A polite but firm notice reminding Filipinos that "Xerox" is a registered trademark popped up in a broadsheet on September 20, more than 50 years after they first entered the Philippine market.



"It's not just another word for copy," states the notice. The word has long been used as an alternate for the lengthier verb "photocopy," (whether or not the machine in question is indeed, the proper one). Think along the lines of "kodakan," which titos and titas nationwide use at every photo op and family reunion.

This "genericide" happens when a company becomes so popular their name becomes synonymous with what they offer, melding the brand with its competitors. Read: When your parents send you to get "Colgate" or "Band-aid" from the store, they don't necessarily expect you to come back with those specific brands.

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Plus, it's not exclusive to products. Instagram officially became a verb in 2018, accompanied by "instagrammable" as an adjective. Also, how many times has your mom yelled at you for "Facebooking" all the time?

"So please don't use the word "Xerox" as another word for "copy," ends the notice. Unfortunately, the word has already been solidified as a verb by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but we can't wait to see if the other companies will be taking out newspaper notices, too.

*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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Mia Rodriguez for Spot.ph
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