Verbal agreement

From a Grauniad Guardian article on James Dyson, inventor of the dual-cyclone vacuum cleaner:
He still has one major ambition. To become a verb, in the same way that Hoover - or, as he puts it, "the alternative" - has done. I suggest to him that people are already using his product but still saying they are "hoovering". He smiles. "I don't think they'll be doing that for long," he says.
That struck me as unusual - it's very rare for a firm's leader to say that he wants his product to become a verb. Lots of other companies like TiVo and Google have tried desperately to avoid their name becoming a verb, for fear of the name becoming so generic that the trademark gets diluted. But then, the Languagehat archives seem to show (see comment near the bottom) that Dyson's big on turning his name into a verb.


Sadly, due to its distinct lack of vowels, the chances of "sng" becoming a verb seem close to zero, regardless of whatever I invent.


Anonymous said…

happened to chance upon your blog.. how sad is it that i have to find out how you're doing via the net? duh.
anyhow, guess i can only blame my own laziness for not catching up with you guys.

er, dinner anytime w jigx so i can hear all about the upcoming nuptials and anything else life-altering that i might have missed?

- denise

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