The Secret Life of Language: How Trademarks Change the Words We Choose

In the world of brand names, Escalators—or, should I say, Escalator-brand power-driven stair systems—are a cautionary tale. Theirs is not a unique story, either. Far from it. In vernacular English, Thermos has replaced vacuum flask, Dumpster has replaced trash receptacle, and Q-Tip has replaced cotton swab. The process, something wildly feared by many brands, is