Re: Grammar question‏ (was RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 41, Issue 18)

Subject: Re: Grammar question‏ (was RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 41, Issue 18)
From: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <bernard -dot- meyer -at- arrisi -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2009 23:15:36 -0400

Bernard Meyer wrote:

> Folks, the way I have seen some companies deal with this is to bypass it altogether by using constructions in which the problem noun is preceded by the article "the". Even though Intel does not end in an x or s, they still didn't want the possessive form used. So everything was, "The Intel Pentium 5 processer (never "Intel's Pentium 5 Processor")," "The Intel Brain Scrub Brush," "The Intel Mobile Computing Group", etc. It's a sidestep, but it works.

It is _not_ a sidestep. Let's not lose sight here of what is actually going on grammatically. It is _not_ a matter of making sure that "the problem noun is preceded by the article 'the'". It could just as easily be an "a" or an "an" because what is actually happening here is that the trademark is being used properly, as an _adjective_ rather than as a noun. The fundamental definition of trademarks is that they are adjectives that distinguish one specific product of a given type from others of that same type.

I spent more than a half-dozen years in the employ of Intel, and completed their Certified Content Editor training on an annual basis, so I am excruciatingly familiar with their rules for trademark usage. When referring to an Intel _product_ it was *never* acceptable to use "Intel" as anyting other than an adjective; possessive forms of the name were explicitly prohibited when referring to products. When referring to the _company_ on the other hand, it was acceptable to treat "Intel" as a noun meaning "Intel Corporation" and even to use it as a possessive. As in "It is Intel's policy to use the Intel trademark properly in all circumstances in order to protect the corporation's intellectual property."

Fred Ridder

not a lawyer, but repeatedly trained by experts in proper use of trademarks in documents


ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
solution. Author in Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word or
HTML and publish to the Web, Help systems or printed manuals.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 41, Issue 18: From: Meyer, Bernard

Previous by Author: RE: Grammar question?
Next by Author: RE: Wrong? Poor style? OK?
Previous by Thread: RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 41, Issue 18
Next by Thread: Re: Grammar question (was RE: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 41, Issue 18)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads