Some terms start particular and become generic. “Chesterfield”, “kleenex”, “hoover”. Marketers love it when things move the other way, co-opting generic terms. One that drives my up the wall is the shortening of “Microsoft SQL Server” to “SQL”. As in, “we use SQL, what do you use?”. Or “UNIX” to refer to the full sweep of systems, from Sun, IBM, HP, SGI, “that program runs on the UNIX”. I have also spotted “let’s go get a Starbucks” in the wild, which is a disturbing innovation.

Update: In fairness to ignorant abbreviators of “Microsoft SQL Server”, every individual component of the term is pretty generic. Microsoft. SQL. Server. If you didn’t know any better, you might think that “SQL” was the particular portion of the phrase. However, that just proves you don’t know any better. “SQL Server” or “MSSQL” is as short as it goes, suck it up.