I am 66 and grew up in Canton on Boston Street in the '40s and early '50s and the word "hon" was used daily by my family and all the other Polish ladies on Cambridge Street. Baltimoreans used and continue to use "hon" as a term of endearment. I think it is unbelievable that someone would trademark the word for future profit. Based on her precedent, I am considering submitting paperwork for a trademark on "Good Morning" and "I love you."
I believe my ancestors, other immigrants, and Baltimore natives who adopted this term of vernacular endearment would be turning in their graves.
Frankly, I think the "H" lady has overstepped the line. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office simply does not issue a trademark on a commonly used word. It will however issue a trademark on a symbol such as her circular drawing with the word inside it. When she submitted her request for a trademark, she must have been required to submit a drawing detailing how the symbol and letters therein would be used. However she single-handedly took the whole thing one step further by co-opting the word "hon." Her trademark was probably issued as previously described, but she has used scare tactics and threats to ward off those who would dare to use "hon" in any graphic or verbal format.
That's all, hon!
Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore