BITS and Pieces

Get global. Get ahead.

Googled, Xeroxed and Fedexed!

The boss gives his subordinate a dressing down saying, “What the hell have you been doing? Why have you not ‘BITSed’ this yet?” Wow! What a day that would be, when people start using ‘BITS’ as a verb implying ‘to translate.’

Any sales guy worth his salt will tell you that your brand name being used as a verb is the biggest compliment you can ever expect. Now what’s this wishful thinking got to do with this column you might wonder.

Well, read on to find out more about how we use one such brand name incorrectly.

Well, surely you have seen shops announcing ‘Xerox’ to tell people that they can get their precious documents ‘xeroxed’ there or a government officer asking you why you hadn’t got a ‘xerox copy’ of a certain certificate.

That people refer to the act of ‘photocopying’ by using the brand name Xerox as a verb or a noun is a huge compliment to the Xerox Corporation that makes those photocopying machines.

That being said, it is grammatically incorrect to use ‘xerox’ as a verb or noun. If you want to speak or write impeccable English, you might want to use the verb or noun ‘photocopy,’ although ‘to fedex,’ ‘to google’ and to some extent ‘to xerox’ are perfectly acceptable colloquially (informally) in the United States of America.

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Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar started his career as a translator way back in 1993 and heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies – BITS Private Limited. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to create an identity for the Indian translator within and outside India.