To Each Generation Its Own Branded Verbs

I wrote an article on another blog on how French and English differ in their language syntax, and how this can influence brand marketing. Here are the first few paragraphs:

As a non-native English speaker living in the UK, I am always amazed by how the locals manipulate Shakespeare's language. In spite of historical connections between French and English, inherited from years of reciprocal invasions, the two languages are significantly different in the way their syntax is constructed and evolves.

For instance, the French tend to turn everything into nouns. We don't "generalise", we make "generalisations". As a result, most additions to the French dictionary are nouns. In English, on the contrary, as soon as there is some level of interest in an action, people are likely to "verb" it.
And brands tend to trigger such interests.

It is therefore common to come across brand names in the English thesaurus. A British citizen is likely to say: "I'm going to hoover the carpets" because of the electrical appliance brand, Hoover, that has penetrated the collective unconsciousness after years of market domination.
Interesting enough, Hoover market share is now depleting in favour of Dyson, but the expression remains amongst older generations who had known its full glory. On the other hand, nowadays no teenagers would ever say "I will hoover my room" (assuming that a teenager knows what cleaning a room means). Note that they do not say that they will dyson either. They will come up with their own generational terminology once they will have figured out how dangerous for their health rotting pizzas can be.


To read the full article, simply click here.

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