Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Brand names

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These are examples of the criteria for inclusion as applied to brand names.


The fact that an individual drives a product is enough to indicate, pragmatically, a narrower type of the product being described than a vehicle, namely an “automobile” in the sense of a regular personal road vehicle, as opposed to a tractor or Formula 1 race car for instance. If the product is of this common type, and if no narrower purpose or presumed quality is necessary for an understanding of the text, then such wording would invalidate the citation.

  • 2003, Jeffery Deaver, The Vanished Man, A Lincoln Rhyme Novel, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 244:
    “He wasn’t checking out Cheryl Marston on the bridle path; he was checking out the circus. The newspaper, the one in his Mazda—look at that headline: ‘Entertainment for Kids Young and Old.’”

This looks like a good citation since it doesn’t even indicate the type of product. However, the word Mazda is used a dozen times in the narrative before this page, establishing the meaning very clearly. Hence this quotation does not count toward the three necessary citations. In fact, it’s rather useless.

  • 2007, Jala Pfaff, Seducing the Rabbi, Blue Flax Press, →ISBN, page 310:
    ...seated atop a genuine (detached) commode of the white porcelain variety, which he had lugged at great hernia-inducing peril from the back of his Mazda to the Outdoor Cinema site, several blocks away.

This quotation doesn’t indicate the type of product either. The apparent clues that it might be a vehicle can be easily countered. While outdoor cinemas are often drive-in, the seating context already establishes that this one is not. The reference to blocks does not distinguish other objects, even stationary ones. Indeed, knowing what a Mazda is, it says something about his character that the man wouldn’t have unloaded the contents closer. With two other legitimate citations of a three-year span, Mazda can be accepted.

  • 2004, Gaby Triana, Backstage Pass, page 42:
    Mom drives an Accord, which is quite a surprise if you think about it. I guess that says something about her response to fame. Anyone can drive a Porsche once they have the cash.

In this example both the type of product and its expense are apparent. Since enough context is provided within the quotation to determine the meaning, this quotation would not count toward the citation requirement for Porsche. However, it may still be useful in supporting a definition that names that quality, and on other grounds it may still count for Accord.

  • 2005, William Braxton Irvine, On Desire: Why We Want What We Want, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 26:
    a male undergoing a garden-variety mid-life crisis is disturbed not by his sexual appetites but by the lack of variety in his sexual partners. He is disturbed not by the crass materialism of his life but by the fact that
    1.   he is still driving a Saab when he could and should be driving a Porsche.
    2.   he is still driving a Ford when he could and should be driving a Porsche.
    3.   he is still driving a Peterbilt when he could and should be driving a Porsche.

Only one of the above quotations is real, although any would make sense. The first contrasts security with precariousness, the second ordinariness with pizazz, and the third momentum and focus with impulsive playfulness. If it is clear that the brand is an auto, nonetheless further information is necessary to understand the intent of the author. The quotation of what he actually wrote would count towards citation because the Ford brand can assume other qualities for contrast:

4.   he is still driving a Ford when he could and should be driving a Toyota.

Toyotas are by no means uncommon, but they are not domestic, implying a different type of variety in partners.

Specific type

In the case that a different or narrower type, such as a semi or motorcycle, is necessary to understand the text, if that type can be inferred by other contextual clues preceding or near its use, then that is sufficient to invalidate the citation.

  • 2005, Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson, Animals in Translation, Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, pages 71-72:
    their hearts were too small to pump blood to their huge bodies. It was like trying to run a Mack truck on a Volkswagen engine, and their hearts gave out.

Although identified as a truck, it has to be understood that this brand is specifically a semi-tractor trailer in order for the analogy to highlight size rather than make as the main factor in compatibility.

  • 2006, Kerry and Barry Morgan, Never Tell Them You're Dying, independently published, →ISBN, page 37:
    I staggered towards the radiology technician and she moved backwards looking like a deer in the headlights of a Mack truck.

Even if it weren’t identified as a truck in this text, the type of vehicle is mostly irrelevant to the analogy.


The fact that a product can be taken may be sufficient indication that it is a type of medication. However, “take” has many meanings, so the correct meaning would be inferred by context, such as being taken with water or as a result of a headache. If no narrower purpose is necessary for an understanding of the text, then this plausible inference invalidates the citation.

  • 2002, Joe Peacock, Mentally Incontinent [sic.], This Is Not Art! (2005), →ISBN, page 231:
    “She was unconscious, apparently from a reaction brought on from taking an entire bottle of Advil.”

No medication is prescribed in large doses, and this result of overdosing is not unusual for most types.

  • 2002, Francine Pascal, Fearless Blood, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 160:
    I...run a deep tub of water as hot as I can stand it. I set a fluffy white towel, two cans of Coke, and a bottle of Advil on a little table. I sink into the water. I take four Advil pills and drink a Coke.

Since the narrator doesn’t have a headache, it is not apparent from this quotation that Advil is a pain reliever in contrast to, say, some drug that counteracts carbonation. Knowing that can greatly aid the understanding of the fantasy described.


The fact that a product can be eaten can indicate, pragmatically, a narrower type of the product being described than food. This may be a sweet, snack food, fast food meal, etc. depending on the circumstances under which it was bought, carried, consumed, etc. If the product is of a type that can be inferred, and if no narrower type is necessary for an understanding of the text, then such contextual clues would invalidate the citation.

  • 2005, Alan Haehnel, Stressed, A Teen Symphony in One Act, Theatrefolk, →ISBN, page 20:
    We’d be cruising down the holy highway...snarfin’ only the best foods: Cheetos and Mountain Dew and maybe an occassional Slim Jim. Heaven on wheels...

In the setting of a car, on a road trip, one would guess that this is a snack food.

  • 2005, Hal Edward Runkel, Screamfree Parenting, Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool, ScreamFree Living, →ISBN, page 137:
    Vacation is great, isn’t it? Getting up when you want, wearing pajamas until noon, eating Cheetos instead of Cheerios for breakfast.

From the context, it is not apparent what kind of food Cheetos are if not a breakfast food. For all the reader knows, it could be gourmet.


The fact that a product can be worn or that it can be played is not enough to indicate what type of clothing, musical instrument, etc. is referred to, but other contextual clues, such as to where the product is worn or how it is played, may be sufficient to invalidate the citation.

  • 1996, Patrick Sheane Duncan, Courage Under Fire, Putnam Adult, 1st American edition, →ISBN, page 91:
    Major Donald Teegarden, a tanned, balding man with a blond mustache and blue eyes that broadcast an immediate amiability, was playing a Gameboy with a Captain Byers.... Serling waited until Teegarden turned the Gameboy over to Byers for his turn before he interrupted.

Because of the name, this is probably a game rather than a musical instrument, but it isn’t clear what type. Board games are more commonly turn-based than video games.

  • 2004 Peter Smith, Two of Us, The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Beatles, Houghton Mifflin Books, →ISBN, page 23:
    With both hands, he fiddled and jabbed at the Color Gameboy I’d given him for his seventh birthday, which we allowed him to play, with some ambivalence, half an hour a day.

Partly from its use but especially because of the name, this is clearly some sort of hand-held game. The fact that it’s an electronic device is not critical to the story (regardless of whether it can be inferred that it’s in color—and indeed, Color Gameboys are black and white).

  • 2004, 20TH Century Music & Hollywood Memorabilia, Heritage-Odyssey Auction #606, Ivy Press, →ISBN, page 54:
    John Lennon Collection Promotional Poster.... Nice photo of John strumming his red Stratocaster.

Only knowing that the person is a musician is enough to guess that one would strum a guitar outside of any evidence to indicate some other instrument.

  • 2004, Casey Moreton, The Greater Good, A Thriller, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 220:
    The Saab couldn’t have been more than a year old, and the engine hummed like a sweet strum on a Stratocaster.

Because of the simile, it is not entirely clear that this is even a musical instrument.

  • 2004, William Eric Jackson, Flight from Babylon, The Legend and Quest of Draxie Dread, Infinity Publishing, →ISBN, page 38:
    ...his feet sockless in white Adidas, his arms and face tanned but not his ankles.

Clearly these are some kind of shoes, in fact, ones that require and once had socks.

  • 2007, Anthony Ham and Alison Bing, Morocco, Lonely Planet, →ISBN, page 45:
    nobody expects you to wear a headscarf or a Tuareg blue Turban in town – and these days, even Tuaregs wear Adidas.

Without more detail, and for that matter even knowing that Adidas manufactures sports apparel, it is not clear that the authors meant shoes. To determine that takes a little more research.