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Michael MadisonMichael Madison

There’s a club? Are there meetings? I hate meetings.

But seriously. Thanks, Barton, for reminding me of the protocol and apologies for the confusion (and for the weird mis-spellings. Obviously I was more tired than I thought!). I appreciate your retrieving the McCarthy reference, though the text prompts me to wonder what “a Goodyear” was, if in fact that’s the question implied by its former generic status. (I can, and will, in due course, look it up; presumably, McCarthy is where the rubber meets the road.) Meanwhile, I continue to get a lot of mileage with my students from the fact that “Heroin” was once a mark.

I agree with Barton’s sense, reinforced by Kevin, that the directional arrows surrounding generic marks (born generic marks possibly becoming descriptive, or distinctive marks becoming generic) call for some nuanced weighing of survey evidence, among other things. But I also think that amid too much nuance, we lose the distinctiveness forest for the Abercrombie trees (or, to borrow my favorite metaphor of the moment, we lose the distinctiveness melody for the Abercrombie notes).