Monday, September 17, 2007

Yahoos! at the gates

Demons are often summoned by the mention of their names, and style incubi that are mentioned in class will surely adorn the dead pine trees within a few days of their appearance:

To rephrase a point that Bill Walsh makes with characteristic effectiveness in The Elephants of Style ("Punctuation is not decoration," pp. 36-37), the obligation to mark a proper name is not an obligation to reproduce a trademark. This hed isn't reporting, it's cheerleading -- if not for the company itself, for its graciousness in sending an expert north to enlighten the hayseeds.

Yahoo is a company. Yahoo! is a severe case of misplaced terminal punctuation that should be restricted to the ad columns with an armed guard at the border. Don't get the two confused.

4 Comments:

Blogger Strayhorn said...

Haw! Remember when we did mighty battle with the Eckankar folks over their wish to be all caps? I believe our final reply was "over my dead body."

Since then they may have wised up and trademarked it. Or perhaps they have vanished into the mist of history, like Est and the Progressive Party.

10:23 AM, September 18, 2007  
Blogger fev said...

Heh heh. Eck has an office near the BeerCo. They stay on their side of the street, we stay on ours, and the caps lock key is unmolested.

11:59 AM, September 18, 2007  
Blogger Tom said...

How do you feel about self-promoting names like WordPerfect and PowerPoint? Infoworld for years resisted using such names (e.g. Word Perfect) but finally capitulated in the late 80s.

4:31 PM, September 19, 2007  
Blogger fev said...

I don't like the SquishedTogetherNames thing, but I dislike it a little less than the decorative punctuation. Probably because it's easier to say "using the PowerPoint program" or something like that.

The best case would be something like "digital slide show," but frankly I don't know if anyone would know what that meant: "Oh! A PowerPoint!"

10:13 PM, September 19, 2007  

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