RE: Use of definite article

Subject: RE: Use of definite article
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Ronald Schwarz" <RSchwarz -at- cosmocom -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 15:42:40 -0400

Ronald Schwarz inquired:

> I tried to look up in the Chicago Manual of Style and the Microsoft
> of Style ... the rules for using the definite and indefinite article
> conjunction with abbreviated product names. I did not find anything
> helpful. We have a product called CosmoCall Universe, abbreviated CCU.
> the process of writing and revising an integration manual for use of
> CCU with another product, also abbreviated, management made me delete
> "the" in front of the two abbreviations.
> Even though it seemed natural to me to refer to CosmoCall Universe
> a definite article, because it sounds like a collective name for an
> architecture, when referring to a particular platform implementation,
> preferred using the definite article ("the CCU"); and the same for the
> other product.
> Is there a rule for this situation? I cannot go according to my
> management's practices because the manager does not even know when to
> capitalize and the analyst who designs our products and helps him
> has a foreigner's command of English. I would like to set down the
> for them so we can have marketing collateral (what they often write)
> is pleasant to read as well as what I write (user documentation).

I would pre-pend an article if I'm using the product name as an
adjective - 'the CCU something-or-other'. When referring to it by
itself, as your management appears to prefer, no article.

BUT... our style mandates that we use our trademarked names as
adjectives whenever practical, as an aid to preserving those trademarks,
so I end up using "... the Luna HSM" the majority of the time, where HSM
is hardware security module, and Luna is our product line... of HSMs.

All of that to say, YMMV.

- Kevin
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Use of definite article: From: Ronald Schwarz

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