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Subject:Re: Product name = noun or adjective? From:"Tamminga, Ernie" <et -at- DSC -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 30 May 1997 08:28:21 -0700
According to the woman who was formerly our corporate counsel, if you
use a product name as a noun you risk losing the "ownership" of the
name, whereas if you use it to modify a generic noun, you're safe in the
I don't know if this is actually the case (and if it IS, I can't fathom
WHY it is...). Stylistically, I hate to refer to a product as an
extended phrase, as opposed to a nice clean noun, every time I mention
it in a publication.
Legalistically, I've been advised as above -- but I don't like it...
If you read Writer's Digest magazine, you will surely have noticed the
profusion of ads from corporations who have almost lost their product
names to the great world of "generics", who in their ads plead for you
to use their names as adjectives whenever you mention them in print. F'r
example, say "Xerox photocopy machine" instead of just "Xerox";
"Kleenex tissue" instead of just "Kleenex"; etc. etc.
---in fact, they even implore you to put a little "circle-r" after the
adjective when you use the name. Methinks that's asking a bit
much, but I do understand their fret and concern over losing control of
Digital Sound Corporation
>From: Cheryl Kidder [SMTP:chekid -at- SYMIX -dot- COM]
>Sent: Friday, May 30, 1997 6:25 AM
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>Subject: Product name = noun or adjective?
>I need some clarification on the use of a product name in
>For years we have used our product name as a noun in all our
>literature, manuals and online help. The question came up today
>whether or not this is a problem and should it actually be used as an
>For example, the product name "Great Stuff" has been used so: With
>Great Stuff you can do anything you want. The suggestion is to make
>it like so: With the Great Stuff system, you can do anything you
>Do any of you have any experience with this situation?
>Cheryl D. Kidder
>Senior Information Developer
>chekid -at- symix -dot- com
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