Are surfing The Google with iPad?
April 4, 2010 1:50 PM Subscribe
What's the term for the use of a product name as a singular noun (like iPod), and why do companies do this?
posted by tmcw to computers & internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This has been bugging me, but I'd like to understand it or know how to refer to it better. The most obvious instance is Apple, and the word iPod. For instance, on one page:
Use iTunes to fill up iPod shuffle with your favorite songs, organize your music, manage playlists, and shop for even more.
(iPod Shuffle is a singular, ala God, etc)
Get new features that make iPod touch even more fun.
Feed your iPod classic.
(now it's a specific iPod)
The new iPod nano. Now rocking a video camera, a polished anodized aluminum finish, and a larger screen. Also making its debut: FM radio with Live Pause.
(Now a specific singular; they never refer to it as 'The iPod Nano' with an adjective like 'new')
At this point I think you've all identified me as a crazy nitpicker, proceed.
It appears like this kind of marketing is trying to make 'iPod' into a brand and not a device, and just has rather inconsistent lines between when we are referring to the physical object and when to the idea of iPod.
Note that there's also a restriction between two ways of referring to websites; everyone mocks GWB, etc., for referring to "The Google" but how is this less accurate than "Google"? What is the grammatical term for this shift? And how, of course, The Facebook became Facebook.