“Xerox” isn’t a noun.

Addendum: (David L)

How can do many media sources get a one line quote so wrong?  Lots of practice I quess, via CNN:

And, you know, lifting whole passages from someone else’s speeches is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox. And I just don’t think…

Xerox is a brand name, and a proper noun.  It has also become a common noun: to make a xerox.  However in the quote above, Mrs. Clinton used the word xerox as a verb.

Mrs. Clinton would have had a point had she pushed it.  Barack Obama does use words that don’t reflex his ideas.  For example, Obama quoted Martin Luther King, “I have a dream” with no evidence that he would ever support a color-blind America, one without affirmative action.

Update ][: (Bit) I suppose the word and it’s proper use to depend on those who invented it.  I erred in my original comments, the dictionary describes it as a verb. However, Xerox themselves go to great lengths to discourage this use, particularly of their employees.  Apparently, this has much to do with seeking to maintain control the use of the trademark. The verbification  of the word would seem to limt their ability to do so, since it becomes increasingly diffucult to maintain such control once it falls into common use, implying use of anyone’s similar system. I find on a grammar site:

I work in a legal department and here’s some information from my company’s intranet site: Trademarks are adjectives (part of speech that modifies a noun or other substantive by limiting, qualifying, or specifying [from The American Heritage Dictionary]). NEVER use a trademark as a noun or verb. Also, don’t pluralize it, or use it in the possessive form. Improper use of a trademark can, over time, result in a finding of unintentional abandonment of the term — even if it is the public, rather than a trademark owner, who uses the trademark as a generic term. One way to ensure a trademark is used properly, is to follow each use with the generic noun for the product identified. Examples of proper use: Coke® soft drink, Kleenex® facial tissue, Xerox® photocopier, and FedEx® overnight courier service. Using these terms after the trademarks, makes the trademarks adjectives rather than nouns. The Xerox® company illustrates the proper use of their trademarked term in some of their ads: “When you use ‘Xerox’ the way you use ‘aspirin,’ we get a headache. There’s a new way to look at it. Boy, what a headache! And all because some of you may be using our name in a generic manner. Which could cause it to lose its trademark status the way the name ‘aspirin’ did years ago. So when you do use our name, please use it as an adjective to identify our products and services, e.g., Xerox copiers. Never as a verb: ‘to Xerox’ in place of ‘to copy,’ or as a noun: ‘Xeroxes’ in place of ‘copies.’ Thank you. Now, could you excuse us, we’ve got to lie down for a few minutes.” (advertisement, ABA Journal May 2004)

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