Thursday, March 5, 2009

Muzak Falls to Recession after Undergoing Genericide

The March issue of Fortune magazine pointed out that another victim of the current recession is Muzak, which filed for Chapter 11 in February. I always thought that Muzak was simply a made-up synonym for the term elevator music, I did not know that it is actually the name of a company. At least I was half right. The word Muzak was created by Major General George O. Squier, the inventor of the technology used to deliver music to restaurants, stores and offices(and the elevators in those buildings). Apparently, Squier so enjoyed the made-up, trademarked word Kodak, that he created the word Muzak, based on the "mus" sound from music and the "ak" sound from Kodak, for his technology and company.

Now that I know Muzak is actually a company, I think it should definitely be added to the list of brands that have gone through genericide. The word Muzak is so commonly used as a generic term for the type of music heard in waiting rooms and elevators that I am sure I am not the only person who thinks of elevator music and Muzak as synonymous.

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