Other Cool Blogs: Brand Names

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

When writing, a delicate balance exists between using brand names – which can date a manuscript if the brand goes away – and clarity of object. Should it be called a tissue or a Kleenex? Is it a Xerox or a copier?

Sometimes brand names are used to specifically “date” a story, for historical purposes. Other times they are avoided to keep the tale in the amorphous time of “contemporary”. Similar to technology choices, brand names can add or subtract from a story.

Did you know Onesies is a brand name? How about Rollerblade and Realtor being Trademarked? It isn’t only the Mouse that fights to protect it’s intellectual property.

Some really good articles on brand names are:

Fowler, Mark. “Can I Mention Brand Name Products in My Fiction?” Rights of Writers. 2010 December 27. http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/can-i-mention-brand-name-products-in-my.html (last viewed 3/26/2022)

Harrell, Lauren, and Stacy Conradt. “50 Words You Might Not Know are Trademarked.” Mental Floss. 2019 December 25. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/28238/25-words-you-might-not-know-are-trademarked (last viewed 3/26/2022)

Servais, Erin. “Using brand names.” Grammar Party. 2013 January 15. https://grammarpartyblog.com/2013/01/15/using-brand-names/ (last viewed 3/26/2022)