Originally Posted by hopewrites
I would assume yes because people are forever using Kleenex rather than handkerchiefs.
Some companies, however, and I believe Kleenex is one of those, take rather a dim view of people using their trademark as a generic term. Xerox is probably the most famous one for that, and I believe they were fond of court cases to prove their point.
It depends on whether Hoover is touchy about their trademark or not, and whether anyone from the company is likely to ever see your book and feel like doing something about it. I'd say (meaning no offense to your possible future sales figures) the odds are in your favor.
Now, if your book J.K. Rowlings (is she a trademark, and does she make a good verb?), then you might find yourself in court someday and have some of your hard-earned cash hoovered out of your pockets.