Re: re Comma Before Company Abbreviation?

Subject: Re: re Comma Before Company Abbreviation?
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 07:09:43 -0500

[back on topic, not grammar this time]

Mark L. Levinson wrote:

In my experience for what it's worth, on the day that
the managers registered the company, they paid absolutely
no attention to whether they were registering it with a
comma or not. Or if they did pay attention, they had no
good reason to go one way or the other. ("You mean not
everybody has a comma?")

Agreed. But what's your point?

Now while it is true that the company's legal name either
includes or doesn't include the comma, most of our writing
is not legalese. Theoretically you are free to identify
your company in any recognizable way, not necessarily only
by its legal name. IBM's legal name isn't IBM, right?

Talk to an intellectual property lawyer about this assertion, Mark. What's sauce for the goose, in this case, is definitely not sauce for the gander. It makes a difference in law whether your company is an internationally known household name or a startup known only to a few thousand people.

That doesn't mean you can't refer to your company any other way, but in those places where you are stating the company's legal name, you are obligated to reproduce that name correctly. Other references my be trade names (and should probably be marked as such), ticker symbols, etc.

So if your company has a comma and you can eliminate it
from your own writing without offending some officious martinet of the front office, I'd say eliminate it.

It's not about officiousness. It's about protecting your company's assets, which takes precedence over editorial style decisions.

The law may be different in Israel, but in the US, the rules on this point are clear.


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re Comma Before Company Abbreviation?: From: Mark L. Levinson

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