Exploring Criteria for the Inclusion of Trademarks in General Language Dictionaries of Modern Greek
- Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America
- Dictionary Society of North America
- Volume 41, Issue 1, 2020
- pp. 155-177
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This paper explores the inclusion of genericized trademarks that have made their way into Greek dictionaries. Genericized trademarks constitute a special type of neologism, balancing between non-lexical and lexical, between "proper" and "common". Although the goal of creating a brand name is to make a specific product easily recognizable by distinguishing it from the rest of its kind, the trademark might become so well-known and widely used that it starts denoting all similar products, becomes part of the general vocabulary and gains lemma status in dictionaries. Given the fact that very little, if any, documentation exists on the subject, be it publicized lexicographic policies, style guides, or any references in the relevant literature, the main aim of the article is to explore some of the criteria by which such items have made their way into dictionaries of Modern Greek. First, an overview of genericized trademarks and brand names in Modern Greek dictionaries is presented. Then, based on the etymological information in the dictionaries, the paper investigates now many genericized trademarks are borrowed by other languages compared to Greek and which these languages are. The list of all these items is cross-checked against two different corpora to compare the frequency of their lexical use to that of their non-lexical use. Finally, the article attempts to test whether the main criteria used in the English lexicographic tradition to differentiate the two forms of use also apply in the case of Modern Greek.