Re[2]: Grammar and usage

Subject: Re[2]: Grammar and usage
From: "Virginia L. Krenn" <asdxvlk -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 08:37:20 -0600

I think that the reason companies are protective of their names is
that if a name (e.g., Kleenex or Windows) falls into the vernacular
due to repeated generic usage, then the company can no longer claim
the name as its own.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Author: Sue Heim <SUE -at- ris -dot- risinc -dot- com> at SMTP

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)!

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).

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