Verbing A Word

Certain nouns or names become so well known and popular they get turned into verbs in common usage.  One such word is Tubex, as in Tubex Tree Tubes. A great product for protecting seedling trees from deer browse and other damage has become, in the minds of many professional foresters, a verb for protecting their seedlings.  As in, “I need to Tubex those oak seedlings.”  As in, “I just got done Tubexing five acres of American chestnut seedlings.”  Or, “Those direct seeded acorns still need to be Tubexed.” 

That’s what happens when you make the best tree tube on the market for nearly 30 years.

The story of Kleenex is used as a cautionary tale in this regard, a brand name which became so synonymous with the product category – facial tissues – that the manufacturer lost its trademark. 

Tubex has a long way to go before that happens, since (unfortunately) more people blow their nose than plant trees.  Not that I want people to blow their nose any less.  And I have a feeling that if Tubex ever does have a “Kleenex problem,” it will be considered one of those good problems to have!

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