Saturday, August 20, 2005


In the public restroom in the building where I work, there was a sign in the women's stall that said "Do not flush tampax." Some smartass, who was not me, I might say, crossed out the -ax and replaced it with -ons. Which, of course, is completely correct. Tampax is a brand name of the more general feminine hygeine product of tampons.

Can I also tell you that the number of times I heard someone ask me if I have a Kleenex over the last week is a number so large that I that I need more than two hands to count it? Kleenex? Why no, I don't have a Kleenex, but I have this Puffs.

When does a brand name become an all purpose word for a more general product? I mean, Nike is a big brand name in shoes, but you don't go shopping for Nikes, you go to get shoes. You don't shop for Levis, you shop for jeans.


  1. All true, though being from the south, any sort of soda product is a coke. "I'll take a coke." "What type of coke?" is a common exchange in areas fairly close to atlanta.

  2. I always used to think it was weird when people would refer to copies as "Xeroxes" - as in, "Would you Xerox that for me?" "I have these Xeroxes right here for you." But no one really calls them that anymore except old people.

    Even weirder, to me, than the process of branding (cause you get that with LOTS of commercials) is the process of DE-branding, where something becomes uncool again, like the Xerox machine.

    PS - I'm Katie, a friend of Natalie's; she linked your blog to me and I hope it's okay I made a comment.

  3. hey, i found you! :-) hope all is well over there.

    in england we don't vacuum, we HOOVER...

    see you soon. can i come over and watch dirty daaancing?


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