Re: Grammar and usage

Subject: Re: Grammar and usage
From: Sue Heim <SUE -at- RIS -dot- RISINC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 09:11:11 PST

PJ Rose expounds with:

> Speaking of grammatical usage, I'd like to raise another issue. It is my
> belief that grammar has always ultimately been defined by usage, although it
> often takes many years for a particular usage to be considered acceptable.
> Now, we are seeing a strange anomaly: grammatical usage of registered (and
> unregistered) trademarks is dictated by law. Although I completely understand
> the intentions behind this, I find the restrictions being put on writers by
> lawyers to be ludicrous. I can't write, "He wiped his nose with a Kleenex,"
> but must instead say "He wiped his nose with a Kleenex tissue," or worse, "He
> wiped his nose with a Kleenex (TM) tissue." (It may be Kleenex (R) tissue in
> this case: I don't remember.) Some companies have gone further, using
> corporate standards and guidelines to discourage use of their trademarks and
> service marks in specific grammatical constructions (such as in the
> possessive case).

This reminds me of the problem with writing for a Windows-based
software application. Microsoft (gotta love 'em) *requires* that all
references to products working under their operating system are
written as follows:

Such-and-such for the Microsoft(R) Windows(tm) operating system

Rather than:

Such-and-such for Windows(tm)

For every instance in which the word "Windows" occurs. This is really
an impossible way to write, don't ya'all agree? They do hold the
winning card, however. Should you decide not to conform to their
"rules," you no longer will be allowed to state on product packaging
or documentation that you are compatible with their operating system
(should you get caught, anyways)!

Happy holidays, all!!

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