TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: The Luncheon Meat Associated With Junk Email?

Re: The Luncheon Meat Associated With Junk Email?
26 Aug 2005 18:27:09 -0700

John Hines wrote:

> No, they have a policy these days, in summary, the word 'spam' has
> been added to the English vocabulary, while 'Spam' is still a
> registered trademark, and is to be used only in reference to their
> (Hormel AFAIK) product.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: All well and good, but how does one
> pronounce an upper case /S/ differently than a lower case /s/ in order
> to avoid violating any trademarks? ...

The "Columbia Journalism Review", a magazine for reporters, often has
ads by corporations reminding people about using trademarks as
everyday words. I guess the most common example today is using
"Xerox" as a verb ("go xerox this letter") or a noun ("I'll send you a
xerox of the letter"). It is a trademark and is properly used to
describe a particular brand of copier machine or the company that
makes them: ("I'll run them off on our Xerox machine").

Another example is Lycra, which is a brand time of spandex -- spandex
is the generic term for that type of fabric.

An old time example is Jello, which is a brand name for gelatin.
Another is Band-Aid. Another is Kleenex.

Years ago I heard people refer to phonographs as "Victrolas", which
were a particular brand.

Many companies don't want their trademark names to become commonplace.
They spend a lot of money promoting their particular brand.

In that sense, I can understand Xerox's position since the company
isn't doing so well and so many other brands of machines are in use.

As to various fuels, during the last energy price spike a lot of
people bought kerosene heaters for their home. I never heard of
anyone using a gasoline heater, though another poster described
gasoline as a better fuel for that purpose. I guess gasoline is
considered too dangerous, I don't think one is even allowed to store
it inside a building. They expect high fuel costs this winter and I
wonder if the stoves will make a comeback. I hope not, they were
smelly in apartment buildings.

But as to lighting, it was kerosene for lighting that made the
Rockefeller oil fortune. Kerosene replaced whale oil and was a lot
cheaper (plus whales were becomming extinct from aggressive hunting).
Gasoline was mostly discarded until the auto came out.

Coal stoves also made a comeback to save money. My mother told me
coal was a horrible way to heat because it was very dirty and labor
intensive. Her family was able to switch to oil during the 1940s and
she said it was a world of improvement. When coal stoves reappeared
she thought people were crazy.

BTW, gas lines in cities were originally used for lighting. Cities
had factories that manufactured the gas from coal by a rather complex
process. In the 1960s they converted to natural gas which became
available by pipelines. The gas works came around and converted every
gas appliance in the house for natural gas. We had gas cooking,
clothes dryer, heat, and hot water. For a while the gas works was
pushing gas air conditioning, but that never caught on. I grew up
with gas, but my apt now is all electric and frankly I don't miss gas;
I was always nervous about a leak.

In Walter Cronkite's memoirs, he described a story he covered early in
his career -- a horrible gas accident in a school that used leftover
gas from nearby oil wells. Apparently the system wasn't too

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