Stop using "Zoom" as a general term for video conferencing.
Stop using "Google" as a general term for searching the web.

@garritfra I once saw a YouTuber saying he wouldn't stop calling ti 'googling' even though he uses DDG. He claimed that if 'Google' became enough of a part of english language, their trademark (or whatever) over this very name could be trialled. Just like anyone can license something with 'Windows' in the brand name.

I do find this a bit far-fetched, but considering it is already present in Merriam Webster[1], why not... (couldn't find source tough)


@tobtobxx @garritfra About windows I remember the "Mac Vs PC" commercial TV. Assuming that PC was fucking Windows. Even people here used to say "That computer is slow because is a PC in my house I use mac" and I said "No, it is slow because has a fucking Windows, no because it's a PC". I could understand that from people who only used the computer for work but from a person who called himself "Computer scientist" was a bit disappointing for me.

@tobtobxx @garritfra

while this is true that trademarks get overruled when there's a public use but the cultural damage would (is?) already done by teaching everyone that we make progress through corporate sponsorship and deregulation (including open source, Google will use it to create more power)

@tobtobxx @garritfra I think that the Windows thing is because the word existed way before Microsoft invented their OS. The same isn’t true for the word Google.

@garritfra I tend to say "let me duckduckgo that for you" and people stare at me astonished lol

@mgiagante @garritfra In my opinion is better to say "Let me search that for you". Now DDG seems to be a good company but Google was a good company in the past. I think is better to keep a neutral way.

@jrballesteros05 @mgiagante @garritfra I think the point is to emphasize that google is not the only search engine.

@mgiagante @garritfra I've tried saying "quack" as a verb for ddg but even people who know ddg don't always get it. "dugkduckgo" is just not easy to say. I've also said "let me Google that" and immediately texted them a link to a , which dilutes the trademark, at least.

@travisfw @mgiagante @garritfra

Trademark dilution through a generic trademark is definitely a thing that some companies fight against.

There was a time when “Nintendo” was becoming a generic term, and they fought against that, and the term game console won out.

@garritfra You know it's going to be hard when the media is literally PAID to say these things? Just an FYI for everyone.

Zoom became the de facto word only because they had an IPO. Media companies bought early Google stock. This is all.

@JackMeinoff interesting take. To clarify: do you mean that it's important to make the IPO at the right time? Because frankly they are not the only company that IPOed during the pandemic.

@garritfra They happened to IPO right when it was starting and had already made the cross-licensing deals with all the major networks. Zoom (the word) was coming no matter, it just was lifted by the pandemic.

Stop using iphone as a general terme for smartphone

@garritfra: totally agree. It's hard for people though. I don't even use google to search.

@guenther that would essentially mean that Google gets even more free marketing.

im complaining but I also try to get people to understand why its wrong. I dont like to sit in a corner and just complaining :)

@garritfra + stop using "PC" as an equivalent for "Microsoft Windows"

@kzimmermann My favorite, from days past, was "I need a new modem."

"Ok, here is one for $12."

"No, it is much bigger than that."

"Ah, you mean the desktop computer."

@souldessin unbelievable! I would have pardoned if they confused the modem with a router, but this... holy crap.

Reminds of the time someone in my first company opened a ticket to fix the coffee maker because "it has LCD screen and blinky buttons"

@kzimmermann @garritfra It's not equivalent but the hardware that runs windows

@enigmatico @garritfra tbh i mainly use duckduck, but yeah i still say i google sth :akko_sad2:
@garritfra no do it so that they become generic and therefore unprotected as trademarks! :ablobcatbongo:

@NekoSock @garritfra Google already lost that lawsuit earlier this year. I remember hearing about it. Now we need to find ways to use their name while making them irrelevant.

Agree. #Influencers in #Australia were recruited in January this year with super creepy #billboards and #advertising.

We believe that many influencers were recruited at this time to push #Zoom because when #COVID19 arrived here the media and #celebrities instantly were forcing "zoom" into the lexicon.

Reminds of how #Hollywood inject #smoking glorification into almost every show. The smoker, shown thrice, is almost always a sexy/confident hero.

#brainwashing #psychicDriving

@garritfra or do so that those companies lose their copyright protection through generalization

@garritfra I don't disagree, but it's probably a losing battle. (Cf. stop using "kleenex" as a general term for video conference; stop using "xerox" as a general term for photocopying; stop using "velcro" for a generic term for "hook-and-loop fasteners"; stop using "zipper" as the generic term for "clasp locker"; &c. &c.)

@emacsomancer @garritfra was zipper ever a trademark? i had no idea

genericizing trademarks can sometimes reduce the amount of power a company has over those trademarks, which can be a good thing i guess. probably less applicable to web-type scenarios where there's 1 Google rather than thousands of knockoff velcros

@david Yep.

"The popular North American term zipper, (UK zip, or occasionally zip-fastener), came from the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1923. The company opted to use Gideon Sundback's fastener on a new type of rubber boots (or galoshes) and referred to it as the zipper, and the name stuck." [wikipedia]

The company sued to protect the trademark in 1930 but only got to keep the rights to Zipper Boots, as zipper had entered the common lexicon by then as a generic term. [ ]

@garritfra and stop using 'Hoover' as a term for vacuuming. There are quite a few that crept into the language.

@danie10 @emacsomancer true, yes, but none of these examples raises a systemic power issue like google does

@kiudecan I don't disagree, but as a linguistic phenomenon, I'm not sure that speakers pay attention to potential knock-on effects.

@kiudecan unintended and potentially 'indirect' consequences. i.e. that using 'google' as a generic verb for 'web search', people just get used to it and don't think about whether it potentially cements Google's position as 'default web search'.


@emacsomancer @danie10 OK, that's what I guessed. It doesn't really matter whether it is or not. The thing that it does actually put it as a "undodgeable" toll to go through for accessing the web

@garritfra add to thus

Facebook - social media
powerpoint for presentations
outlook - email

I have been working on this

Taking the UK digital skills framework and applying that to using free / privacy friendly software, tools etc.

@garritfra No problem, I am getting some help from a few of the free software foundation people.

@garritfra No problem, I am getting some help from a few of the free software foundation people.@noisytoot

@garritfra Regarding the latter, I started saying I'm going to DuckDuckGo it, but it doesn't have that same ring to it!

full ack. the real term for doing video conference is "to senf"/"senfen"! #Senfcall

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