RE: Use of definite article

Subject: RE: Use of definite article
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, "Ronald Schwarz" <RSchwarz -at- cosmocom -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 14:33:31 -0600

In response to Ronald Schwartz, Kevin McLauchlan wrote:

> 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
> so I end up using "... the Luna HSM" the majority of the time, where
> is hardware security module, and Luna is our product line... of HSMs.
> All of that to say, YMMV.

The trademark issue is an important point, and I'd state it more
strongly than Kevin. If CCU and/or CosmoCall Universe are trademarked,
regularly using them as nouns is being negligent with a valuable company

Does your company have a legal dept. or attorney on retainer? Is there
someone in marketing who's responsible for or cares about the corporate
brand, public image, etc?

Our marketing dept. publishes a document setting forth the rules for
using corporate trademarks, logos, etc. Trademarks are always supposed
to be used as adjectives.

I'm sure we slip up occasionally. But from a legal standpoint, slipups
are OK -- consistent misuse is not.

For each trademarked product name, there are one or more nouns approved
for use with it: ABC system, DEF application, GHI server, etc.

"Something-or-other" doesn't seem to be listed. :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Use of definite article: From: Ronald Schwarz
RE: Use of definite article: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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