Proprietary or brand names are also a cultural aspect of learning languages. Many times people aren’t even aware that a word they use for a certain object is in fact a brand name and not the generic name. In English, we have several brand names that have become more common than the original terms, such as kleenex (tissue), Q-tip (cotton swab), and band-aid (adhesive bandage). This also extends further than nouns because we have verbs such as to tweet and to google. And of course, some dialects of English do not use the same proprietary names as others (it’s plaster and not band-aid in British English.)
Here are a few proprietary names (with their generic names) used in France.
critérium / portemine
stabilo / surligneur
tippex / correcteur fluide
sopalin / essuie-tout
cotons-tiges / bâtons ouatés
Check out other Cultural Realia of France.
Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.