Thoughts on making up new words

The other day I was taken aback when my I was sitting with my cousin. Her husband arrived and immediately said to me. “We’ve gotta talk to you about something. Can you say Amazon primate?” “Sorry?” I replied. “What did you say?” “Amazon primate,” he repeated.

It suddenly dawned on me they weren’t talking about monkeys in the South American Rain Forest when my cousin quietly explained that when she wants to get something delivered quickly from Amazon, she says “Let’s Amazon-Prime it.”

My cousin’s newfangled verb was driving her husband nuts!

“Okay,” I replied. “Well, strictly speaking, I guess we could say “Let’s use Amazon Prime to get it delivered or something like that. But language is constantly in flux. I mean how many times a day do I google for information on the internet? So who am I to argue about making up new verbs from names and existing trademarks??”

In fact, I have to admit that I actually love it. It’s so much fun – so inventive. I think that’s what makes language come alive. After all, how many brand names have found their way into the vernacular as commonly used nouns or verbs?

So for today’s blog, I thought I’d simply leave you with a couple of articles, each with 50 common words that began as trademarks or brand names. The articles do have some overlaps, to be sure, which just goes to show you how often we use these words! Maybe some of them will surprise you. In any case, enjoy.

Oh, and by the way, my cousin and her husband are still together in a loving and devoted relationship, despite this minor “intellectual” difference.

And don’t forget to check out this week’s One-Minute Word on the Canadian Pronunciation Coach YouTube  channel.



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