New words – 10 November 2014


smart gun noun a gun with various technologies, such as proximity sensors and biometrics, that are intended to improve gun safety

The so called ‘smart gun’ has recently been causing tension in both the EU and US firearms industries.

[ 23 May 2014]


barrel bomb noun a type of improvised explosive device made from explosives packed into a barrel

Since the end of 2013, government forces have waged a deadly aerial campaign in the city using barrel bombs, allowing them to make several gains.

[ 28 April 2014]

The Syrian air force has used so-called ‘barrel bombs’ dropped from aircraft to try to put down a rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

[ 30 May 2014]

genericide noun the use of a brand name to mean a class of similar items and the consequent dilution of that brand name’s potency

Cue rival businesses, circling the exposed brand and swooping to attach its powerful name to their own products. And if they can convince intellectual property judges that they are entitled to use it because it’s now an everyday word, that trademark is dead and buried – the victim of ‘genericide’.

[ (Simon Tulett) 28 May 2014]

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5 thoughts on “New words – 10 November 2014

  1. Pingback: (EN) – New words: 10 November 2014 | Cambridge University Press | Glossarissimo!

  2. Luc007

    Simon Tulett seems to be mistaken when he dubs “genericide” the fact that a trademark is killed (dead and buried) when it is used as an everyday word to designate items/objects of similar nature, but not from the same manufacturer, such items/objects being therefore improperly named by the trademark.
    Such a language phenomenon should be named “trademarkicide” : indeed, the trademark is becoming a generic word, therefore it does not die as a generic item.
    Regicide is the act of killing a king, parricide is the act of killing a close relative, insecticide is a product to kill insects, so it would seem to me that “trademarkicide” is the actual word that would fit Simon Tulett’s definition of a trademark being dead and buried, not “genericide”.

    1. JackiieR

      I agree that the descriptive word for trademark being extinct should have a reference to that happening; trademarkicide.

      Surely genericide is the killing of something that is generic – something that is accepted and used by majority of the population. If the brand name has a monopoly ie a food chain or a telephone company, the killing may not be total death or extinction but a big dilution of their impact because of competition.

      Simon Tullet’s explanation does not do it either. For example, many people used and probably still does, the word hoover when referring to the vacuuming of floors, etc. Do we need to say to Mr Hoover that we can call our products Hoover as so many people use that word? I think not. We need to keep our inventiveness and brainiac imagination in peak performance by not taking away from others their inventiveness and livelihood.

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