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(The) Kindle
September 13, 2011 4:39 PM   Subscribe

The Kindle is changing its name to ... Kindle. W(T)F?
posted by anothermug (160 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't ever refer to me as "The Greenhornet". It is "Greenhornet" from now on!
posted by greenhornet at 4:43 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, this is like what The Facebook did then?
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:44 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


"The" has been in and out of fashion with band names. Mostly in, but sometimes out. And then The The took band naming to new levels of brilliance.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:45 PM on September 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's a hardware vs. software thing. Nobody says "I have the Windows" on my computer or "crunch those numbers in the Excel." Bezos wants us to think about the software/marketplace aspect of "Kindle" more than the little plastic thing that displays text.
posted by michaelh at 4:45 PM on September 13, 2011 [18 favorites]


Sorry, Mr. Bezos. I'm still not interested in buying your product. I can get all books I want at library.
posted by phunniemee at 4:45 PM on September 13, 2011 [41 favorites]


Exception to what I said: The Google.
posted by michaelh at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


The.
posted by grouse at 4:47 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I already have The iPad, thanks.
posted by fleetmouse at 4:48 PM on September 13, 2011


I'm so confused.
posted by The Whelk at 4:48 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Like the quote from The Good Shepard "How come none of you guys ever say The CIA" "Same reason nobody ever says The God"
posted by Ad hominem at 4:48 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apple has a record of flouting grammar rules. Craig Tanimoto, formerly an art director for Apple's ad agency, says that when he came up with the iconic "Think Different" in 1997, almost everyone raised eyebrows at how he excluded the "ly" on different.

"Think Different" is really "Think: Different" not "Think in a different way." It's not missing an "ly," it's missing punctuation.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:49 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Research In Motion Ltd.'s style guide specifies that "BlackBerry" should be used "as an adjective and not as a noun or verb."

What
posted by jimmythefish at 4:49 PM on September 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


The Goddamn Batman?
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:49 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Here's a tip: drop the "The".
It's cleaner.
posted by Winnemac at 4:49 PM on September 13, 2011


jimmyfish, don't you find Kindle to be rather Blackberry?
posted by michaelh at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2011 [20 favorites]


The Whelk is confused.
posted by gman at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who is changing the name of the Kindle to Kindle? Kindle is.
posted by mullacc at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


If they wanted to be even cooler they could add the suffix -ing, as in Googling.

Fahrenheit 451 is now available for Kindling.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:51 PM on September 13, 2011 [118 favorites]


Can we also stop people on Metafilter from saying "This." all (the) time?
posted by ReeMonster at 4:51 PM on September 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


I can get all books I want at library.

I wish this were true, luckily I can download from 'The Internet'.
posted by ennui.bz at 4:52 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Metafilter: What

Research In Motion Ltd.'s style guide specifies that "BlackBerry" should be used "as an adjective and not as a noun or verb."

Well, nobody has ever accused the things of being stylish.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:52 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


That is so Blackberry.
posted by benzenedream at 4:52 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I already have The iPad, thanks.

Wouldn't that be "a" The iPad?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:52 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ugh. This has been going on for a while. I used to work for an IBM subcontractor doing various software, documentation, and marketing collateral for the AS/400 (hey, I told you it was a while ago), and the IBM manager who came around from time to time was always adamant that it was "AS/400" and never "the AS/400."

I'm not sure I am willing to grant that there is any benefit (leaving out the article makes your thing "more iconic"? whatever), but I think whatever there may be is outweighed by any sort of explicit attempts at correction the marketing folks might make towards the customers. I mean... it's just creepy to actively try and control how I refer to your product. If you want to come down hard on the folks writing ad copy, that's one thing, but I'm not sure why they would blab about it to the WSJ. Just makes 'em sound crazy.

And michaelh, I don't think it's really a hardware / software thing. My experience is contrary to this and the article seems to indicate it cuts across both as well.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 4:53 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this the thread where I can complain about how iTunes introduced "gift" as a verb? Gift this album...makes...my...skin...crawl.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:55 PM on September 13, 2011 [14 favorites]


Worked for The Pink Floyd!
posted by not_on_display at 4:57 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's about time. NOW I will buy one.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:57 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I dunno.. if you get to Amazon's Kindle page there are "the"s all over the place.
posted by ReeMonster at 4:58 PM on September 13, 2011


How is this really important? Does he not have enough things to do besides concentrate on this?
posted by theredpen at 4:58 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


* registers www.themetafilter.com *

Am I doing this right?
posted by lukemeister at 5:00 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I see article removed from product, I automatically start thinking in Russian accent.
posted by condour75 at 5:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [86 favorites]


"Think Different" is really "Think: Different" not "Think in a different way." It's not missing an "ly," it's missing punctuation.

I believe that the common interpretation is that there is no missing punctuation and that "different" is merely acting as a flat adverb, in the same way as "slow" does in "Drive Slow".
posted by MUD at 5:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I always thought the Kindle was hilariously named what with the device supposedly representing the death of paper books. (Not sure how that's gonna pan out considering I have one and I just this minute got back from the library with an armful of kindling)
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:03 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


it's just creepy to actively try and control how I refer to your product

I've never understood why reporters are willing to acknowledge corporate renamings of arenas. The Ottawa Senators play in the Palladium until I am personally paid to say otherwise.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:03 PM on September 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


"Think Different" is really "Think: Different" not "Think in a different way." It's not missing an "ly," it's missing punctuation.

"Think Differently" is an idiom, "Think: Different" isn't. I'm pretty sure the idea is that without the "ly" it can mean both, and compliment both the product and the reader.
posted by pmcp at 5:04 PM on September 13, 2011


Lego.
posted by LordSludge at 5:04 PM on September 13, 2011


This immediately brings to mind Buster Bluth's stint in Army.
posted by padraigin at 5:04 PM on September 13, 2011 [26 favorites]


If they wanted to be even cooler they could add the suffix -ing, as in Googling.

Isn't that dangerous from a trademark-defence standpoint? Adobe get a bit sniffy about the use of the expression "photoshopping".
posted by pompomtom at 5:06 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think Jeff Bezos wishes we all spoke German and capitalized all Nouns. We'd order Music, Books and Kindles straight from (the) Amazon.

If they wanted to be even cooler they could add the suffix -ing, as in Googling.

You're funny.
posted by GuyZero at 5:07 PM on September 13, 2011


Research In Motion Ltd.'s style guide specifies that "BlackBerry" should be used "as an adjective and not as a noun or verb."

Is that an iPhone?

No. Sort of. But it's the most BlackBerry iPhone I've ever used. It's terrible.

"Think Different" is really "Think: Different" not "Think in a different way." It's not missing an "ly," it's missing punctuation.

Wait. So, are you saying that "think big" is missing either a colon or an "ly"?
posted by The World Famous at 5:08 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'll take that spare the.

Who do I need to see to change my nick to "thenotyou".

There's a joke about The Ohio State University here somewhere, too. Maybe in the thread about "student-athletes".
posted by notyou at 5:10 PM on September 13, 2011


Think again.
posted by spitbull at 5:11 PM on September 13, 2011


I'm just happy to see that the plural 'BlackBerrys' is frowned upon.
posted by quoz at 5:13 PM on September 13, 2011


Kindle don't need no stinkin' article. You think Kindle cares about grammar? Kindle don't give a shit. Kindle does what it wants.
posted by mek at 5:15 PM on September 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


Not sure how that's gonna pan out considering I have one and I just this minute got back from the library with an armful of kindling.

In my personal anecdote space I have an eReader (not a Kindle since it doesn't support ePUB, but a dedicated one that does, as well as the option to read on Android) and I just this year and from now, will rarely bother with meatworld books again. Of course this is only true of me and some people I know, including most of my family (eReader, Android, iOS). Small drop in the reduction of kindling.

That said, apparently I'm reading some books that I have not been fortunate enough to be saved from on the advice of people who don't read fiction as fiction, according to others in other threads and forums.

Is anyone named Richard Kindle? Also, I like potatoes.
posted by juiceCake at 5:18 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apple are the kings of this, their ads with "iphone is blah, iphone if blah" or "ipad is this, ipad is that" set my teeth on edge.

I already have The iPad, thanks.

While you joke, you would say "I already have an iPad" but apple's branding apparently wants you to say "I already have iPad". I guess their marketing guys get paid the big bucks because they know how this sort of thing works, but it just sounds wrong to me.
posted by markr at 5:18 PM on September 13, 2011


Eagles get their own name wrong.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:22 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Think again.

Think Againly.
posted by The World Famous at 5:25 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Look at banner Kindle, Michael!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:26 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: The MetaFilter.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:26 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Glenn Kaplan, creative director at Barnes & Noble Inc., corrects colleagues who attach articles to the company's Nook e-reader.

First against the wall when my revolution comes.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:26 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Say Nook e-reader fast.
posted by New England Cultist at 5:30 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: The MetaFilter.

MetaFilter: The Fresh Maker.
posted by LiteOpera at 5:35 PM on September 13, 2011


In modern internet, The particles you!
posted by sneebler at 5:38 PM on September 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


I think maybe I understand why it works -- if you talk about THE Kindle, it's a product, one of many. When talking about just "Kindle", without a 'the', it becomes singular, like you have the only one.

That's obviously pretty stupid, but the brain is a funny thing, and I believe they're hacking language here. Perhaps it only works in English?
posted by Malor at 5:39 PM on September 13, 2011


I accidentally The whole Kindle.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:39 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


In modern internet, The particles you!

Particle Man!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:40 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Marketing people need to be punched in the dick.
posted by darkstar at 5:42 PM on September 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


Glenn Kaplan, creative director at Barnes & Noble Inc., corrects colleagues who attach articles to the company's Nook e-reader. "When somebody says 'the Nook,' I wince," he says. "When a brand evokes something bigger than just a little object, it doesn't want to have 'the' in front of it."

Excuse me, clerk. I dropped Nook on the floor.

Hey, is that Nook in your backpack?
posted by mreleganza at 5:42 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Does this make Kindle an uncountable noun like "news"? That's a nice piece of Kindle you've got!
posted by Triplanetary at 5:43 PM on September 13, 2011


If you really want that article, you can download it on your Kindle for just 99 cents.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:44 PM on September 13, 2011


Hey, is that Nook in your backpack?
posted by mreleganza


No. I'm just happy to see you.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:45 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kindling.
posted by zsazsa at 5:48 PM on September 13, 2011


Oh, you sad little marketing people.

We use "the" when we speak in terms of a concrete object. We omit "the" when we speak in terms of a transitory service.

You don't get "the water" from a faucet any more than you tell your kids to stay out of "water" for 30 minutes after eating.
posted by bpm140 at 5:53 PM on September 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


The name of this e-book reader is Kindle.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:54 PM on September 13, 2011


I'll start paying attention when Angelenos no longer call it "the 405".
posted by kurumi at 5:55 PM on September 13, 2011


While we're talking about these devices, does anybody know if the announced The Overdrive (library lending) compatibility is still happening on The Kindle? Or was it all a gambit to help Amazon make its deals to create the also-not-yet-happening book rental service that will be linked to The Prime?
posted by jepler at 5:58 PM on September 13, 2011


It seems kind of like concrete objects get an article: The iPad, the Kindle, the Samsung Galaxy S 4g. Whereas software and ephemeral things don't get it "The Google" "The Android" "The Firefox" sounds strange. For some reason though "The Ineternet" and "The Web" get the article. I wonder what that's about.
posted by delmoi at 6:00 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


While you joke, you would say "I already have an iPad" but apple's branding apparently wants you to say "I already have iPad".

We could just make it a verb "Have you iPadded?"
Why, no, I do not believe that I have."
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:03 PM on September 13, 2011


The name of this e-book reader is Kindle.

Actually, you know how every time you reformat Windows asks you to give your computer a name? Mine is named Gary. One before that was Roger. One before that was Fred. I do it this way mostly because it makes stuff like this extremely amusing. And also it pisses off people trying to find your computer on a network. (Bwa ha ha!)
posted by phunniemee at 6:03 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I seem to be a verb.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:04 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems kind of like concrete objects get an article: The iPad, the Kindle, the Samsung Galaxy S 4g.

YES! This is true no matter how much you want your product to be "iconic!" GOT THAT, MARKETERS?! EVEN IF YOUR PRODUCT DOES NOT "WANT" (BARF) AN ARTICLE IN FRONT OF IT! YOUR PRODUCT WILL NEVER EVER TRANSCEND OR BE BIGGER THAN THE ENGLISH FUCKING LANGUAGE!

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK! (okay....I'm calm....)
posted by mreleganza at 6:08 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


It was best of times, it was worst of times.
Person who wrote article about marketing is bad person, because marketing is disgraceful use of human abilities.
posted by uosuaq at 6:09 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


YES! This is true no matter how much you want your product to be "iconic!" GOT THAT, MARKETERS?! EVEN IF YOUR PRODUCT DOES NOT "WANT" (BARF) AN ARTICLE IN FRONT OF IT! YOUR PRODUCT WILL NEVER EVER TRANSCEND OR BE BIGGER THAN THE ENGLISH FUCKING LANGUAGE!

You made me spill a whole can of The Coke on my keyboard!
posted by The World Famous at 6:10 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


(Even back when I was a Macphile, the Think Different campaign bothered me. Comparing consumer electronics to Gandhi and MLK? Really?)
posted by kmz at 6:15 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


You made me spill a whole can of The Coke on my keyboard!

So you're saying you spilled the can of coke? Coke is a fluid, like water. If you want to put 'the' there you need to be referring to a specific object, like the drop, the can, the bottle.
posted by delmoi at 6:15 PM on September 13, 2011


the Drop, The Can, The Bottle, The Magician, and all the other heroes of legend.
posted by The Whelk at 6:16 PM on September 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Who drank my Coke?

I drank the Coke. Was it yours?

No. Mine didn't have an article.
posted by The World Famous at 6:18 PM on September 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


Drop the "The." Just "Kindle." It's cleaner.
posted by AceRock at 6:20 PM on September 13, 2011


The me intends to make up for this, to average things out.
posted by Flunkie at 6:29 PM on September 13, 2011


The Amazon has sold between 5 and 8 million The Kindles, so if they strip the The from all of those, that's a awful lot of surplus The's out there, just wasting away. The we need to the step up and put them to the use. The I, for the one, am doing my the part.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:40 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Amazon has sold between 5 and 8 million The Kindles

I've been throwing money into that river for days and it has yet to give me a The Kindle. I want my money back, but I'm afraid to wade in after it.
posted by The World Famous at 6:42 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I first encountered this articlelessness when I worked for Ford, a little over 20 years ago. Our internal communiqués would say things like "Sierra is selling well" or "Fiesta is an international hit".

Even RIM's insistence that BlackBerry is an adjective has precedent - AT&T used to insist that UNIX was an adjective too, e.g., you could say "a UNIX operating system" but not "it runs on UNIX".
posted by kcds at 6:46 PM on September 13, 2011


Dateline: The The surplus causes rampant confusion. Will your the family be the affected? Tune in at the eleven to find out.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:46 PM on September 13, 2011


I see the people use Kindle on subway to the Manhattan.
posted by fuq at 6:49 PM on September 13, 2011


its been a long day, can I get a the manhattan?
posted by The Whelk at 6:52 PM on September 13, 2011


Maybe the the surplus can be used to help the British who have to go to hospital.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:13 PM on September 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


Does this mean we can stop referring to "The GIMP"?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:14 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watch out for that guy - his last girlfriend got kindle from him.
posted by sanko at 7:19 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now if we could only get California drivers to do the same....
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:30 PM on September 13, 2011


thread giving me grammar the headache
posted by ninjew at 7:32 PM on September 13, 2011


Hey, it worked for Ukraine.
posted by adamg at 7:39 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I understand why ad peeps want their product to be referred to with the dropped "the" - other big products; Windows, Google, Facebook are all referred to without the "the."

It's like the facile idea that if you want to get promoted at some fancy company, you dress up to the level you wanted to be promoted to.

Referring to your product in ad copy with the dropped "the" is fine, but it's the bloody minded insistence to do it consistently (just like some political parties insist their members toe the party line - without question/context) just sounds incredibly awkward.

"I own a PC running Windows."

"The Windows operating system runs on my PC."

"My PC has a legitimate installation package of the Windows 7 operating system on a second hard drive in case I need to reinstall."
posted by porpoise at 7:44 PM on September 13, 2011


Hey, The Cheat! /homestarrunner

I just had an argument about whether Dogpatch gets an article, like the Mission, the Richmond, & the Haight. I say no, as in North Beach, Chinatown & Bernal Heights. In those with an article, "district" or "neighborhood" is implied, as in "The Sunset (district)". In the other examples, "Beach", "Town" & "Heights" serve this purpose, as does "-patch" in Dogpatch.

Eavesdroppers at the bar where I had this discussion said it could be either, as in Western Addition or NoPa.
posted by obloquy at 7:47 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


porpoise: "It's like the facile idea that if you want to get promoted at some fancy company, you dress up to the level you wanted to be promoted to."

I do this. They're getting tired of me wearing my wizard robe and astronaut helmet every day.
posted by mrgoat at 7:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have seen future, it is murder.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 PM on September 13, 2011


Army had a half day today.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:57 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Mignon Fogarty, who writes under the pen name Grammar Girl

I'd say that was a huge waste, but then I realized it just means that I now can take the pen name of Mignon Fogarty!
posted by ignignokt at 8:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


During a bout of unemployment I took a 60-hour class to become a tax preparer. The woman who taught the class was a Registered Agent, which is someone who has very advanced tax-related skills. She would go off on all sorts of tangents about aliens and sexism and referred to the Internal Revenue as "IRS," never "the IRS", and it always made me think of IRS as some kind of giant, soul-sucking monster with big teeth and its own hideous personality. Which I guess isn't that far from the truth.
posted by bendy at 8:08 PM on September 13, 2011


BTW, wasn't there a scene in, hmmm... the Simpson's, maybe, where Homer wants to rock out in the car but the tape he pops in is "sunshine, lollipops and rainbows..."?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:14 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uh... wrong thread. Please do the ignore.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:15 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


David Byrne beat them to it.
posted by painquale at 8:20 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm on internet.
posted by BurnChao at 8:34 PM on September 13, 2011


Glenn Kaplan, creative director at Barnes & Noble Inc., corrects colleagues who attach articles to the company's Nook e-reader.

Glenn Kaplan, creative director at Barnes & Noble Inc., is an asshole who nobody likes.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 8:46 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love lamp.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Glenn Kaplan, creative director at Barnes & Noble Inc., is an asshole who nobody likes.

FTFY
posted by painquale at 8:59 PM on September 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Probably you don't want GOB doing your marketing.
posted by lrobertjones at 9:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"different" is merely acting as a flat adverb, in the same way as "slow" does in "Drive Slow".

It sure is.
posted by straight at 9:24 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Say Nook e-reader fast.

Say Nook e-reader different.
posted by straight at 9:26 PM on September 13, 2011


Why do we use definite articles for some government agencies and not others?

For example:

- He works for the CIA vs. He works for NASA
posted by chara at 9:26 PM on September 13, 2011


Can we also stop people on Metafilter from saying "This." all (the) time?

THIS!
posted by straight at 9:27 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Even RIM's insistence that BlackBerry is an adjective has precedent - AT&T used to insist that UNIX was an adjective too, e.g., you could say "a UNIX operating system" but not "it runs on UNIX".

That's just an artifact of trademark law. It's the same reason Adobe wants us to call their image program Adobe® Photoshop® software instead of Photoshop.

Adobe and RIM are trying to prevent their trademarks from becoming genericized like like linoleum, aspirin, butterscotch, escalators, kerosene, heroin, zippers, and thermoses.
posted by straight at 9:40 PM on September 13, 2011


This kind of branding genius will also do wonders for The Clap.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:48 PM on September 13, 2011


Can we also stop people on Metafilter from saying "This." all (the) time?

THIS!


THAT!
posted by pompomtom at 9:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude abides.
posted by obscurator at 9:54 PM on September 13, 2011


Can we also stop people on Metafilter from saying "This." all (the) time?

THIS!

THAT!


The other thing!
posted by madcaptenor at 10:34 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Livestrongly
posted by The World Famous at 10:46 PM on September 13, 2011


Hang toughly.
posted by ericost at 10:50 PM on September 13, 2011


Adobe and RIM are trying to prevent their trademarks from becoming genericized like like linoleum, aspirin, butterscotch, escalators, kerosene, heroin, zippers, and thermoses.

Yeah, good move by them. Remember when the company that made Kleenex went out of business because we (in America) call any nose-blowin' facial tissue kleenex? Oh wait...
posted by mreleganza at 10:57 PM on September 13, 2011


Can we also stop people on Metafilter from saying "This." all (the) time?

THIS!

THAT!

The other thing!
posted by madcaptenor at 10:34 PM on September 13 [+] [!]


Can we still say "The This"?
posted by chavenet at 11:15 PM on September 13, 2011


Livestrongly

Army strongly?
posted by NMcCoy at 11:40 PM on September 13, 2011


The The.
posted by arcticseal at 12:23 AM on September 14, 2011


That's just an artifact of trademark law. It's the same reason Adobe wants us to call their image program Adobe® Photoshop® software instead of Photoshop.

Adobe and RIM are trying to prevent their trademarks from becoming genericized like like linoleum, aspirin, butterscotch, escalators, kerosene, heroin, zippers, and thermoses.


Yup. All this nonsensical marketing-speak about "iconic experiences" and suchlike merely hides that the real motivation for these companies to rape the English grammar and remove all articles is to prevent that their flagship trademarks become generic nouns. In fact, these companies' marketing departments are merely providing bullshit cover to the legal departments...
posted by Skeptic at 12:54 AM on September 14, 2011


sorry, borked on my phone. Let's try again.

The The will now become ___ ___.
posted by arcticseal at 1:43 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Research In Motion Ltd.'s style guide specifies that "BlackBerry" should be used "as an adjective and not as a noun or verb."

Blackberry Blackberry Blackberry Blackberry Blackberry?
posted by daniel_charms at 1:44 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball iPhone.
posted by acb at 3:35 AM on September 14, 2011


Why do we use definite articles for some government agencies and not others? For example: -He works for the CIA vs. He works for NASA posted by chara at 9:26 PM on 9/1
Because the letters in CIA are spoken individually, whereas NASA is spoken like a word. The same goes for the FBI and FEMA.
posted by shesaysgo at 4:15 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because the letters in CIA are spoken individually, whereas NASA is spoken like a word. The same goes for the FBI and FEMA.

Though you'd never say "he works for the MI5".
posted by acb at 4:27 AM on September 14, 2011


Banks in the UK have adopted the phrase "in branch" (as in "to open an account, come and see us in branch ...") which makes me want to commit mayhem with a stabby knife every time I hear it. I have to speak to staff in retail banks every day in my job and if anyone uses the phrase "in branch" during a conversation I always say "I think you must mean 'in THE branch'".
posted by essexjan at 5:35 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can has Kindle?
posted by mr.ersatz at 6:09 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Banks in the UK have adopted the phrase "in branch" (as in "to open an account, come and see us in branch ...") which makes me want to commit mayhem with a stabby knife every time I hear it. I have to speak to staff in retail banks every day in my job and if anyone uses the phrase "in branch" during a conversation I always say "I think you must mean 'in THE branch'".

At least they're being consistent, dropping articles there the way they drop articles when referring to hospitals and universities. (In hospital, at university.)
posted by emelenjr at 6:27 AM on September 14, 2011


Research In Motion Ltd.'s style guide specifies that "BlackBerry" should be used "as an adjective and not as a noun or verb."

Excellent. I look forward to using the comparative form. I am BlackBerrier. You are the BlackBerriest.
posted by jeather at 6:30 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nobody says "I have the Windows" on my computer.

Sure they do, and they're called "my parents."
posted by nev at 6:47 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Already doing their part Down Under!!!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:18 AM on September 14, 2011


"The Windows operating system runs on my PC."

Pedant filter: Windows in that circumstance is an adjective.

Buster: These are my awards, Mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship and the gorilla is for sand racing.
posted by gjc at 7:26 AM on September 14, 2011


It seems kind of like concrete objects get an article: The iPad, the Kindle, the Samsung Galaxy S 4g. Whereas software and ephemeral things don't get it "The Google" "The Android" "The Firefox" sounds strange. For some reason though "The Ineternet" and "The Web" get the article. I wonder what that's about.

I can't believe no one has responded to this. delmoi, The Internet *is* a concrete object: it's a series of tubes.

Also, about "this." I think in the future, "this" will become the new copula/"to be" for English. Just like how it happened in Chinese with shi4.
posted by subversiveasset at 7:44 AM on September 14, 2011


I think it would have more impact if they would add a word vice dropping one: the Goddamn Kindle. Seems to have worked for Batman.
posted by Mooski at 7:47 AM on September 14, 2011


"When somebody says 'the Nook,' I wince," he says. "When a brand evokes something bigger than just a little object, it doesn't want to have 'the' in front of it."

nook 1. A small corner, alcove, or recess, especially one in a large room.
posted by ersatz at 7:52 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Name of This Band is Talking Heads
also: Pixies
posted by morganw at 10:11 AM on September 14, 2011


I wish this were true, luckily I can download from 'The Internet'.

FTFY
posted by Schneider at 10:17 AM on September 14, 2011


Yeah, good move by them. Remember when the company that made Kleenex went out of business because we (in America) call any nose-blowin' facial tissue kleenex? Oh wait...

Kleenex has sufficiently defended it's trademark such that it's not yet legal for Puffs to refer to their tissues as "Puff's kleenex." But any company is free to label their products as "zippers" or "butterscotch."

It's not very likely that we'll ever see Microsoft advertising it's latest "photoshopping software" or running ads urging people to "google it on Bing!" but as a historical / legal matter, it's not impossible if Adobe and Google were to take no steps to prevent it.
posted by straight at 10:33 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I own a PC running Windows."

"The Windows operating system runs on my PC."

"My PC has a legitimate installation package of the Windows 7 operating system on a second hard drive in case I need to reinstall."


But this is because you've crammed "operating system" in there, which Windows is modifying:

"Windows runs on my PC."

"My PC has a legitimate installation package of Windows on a second hard drive in case I need to reinstall."
posted by neuromodulator at 10:55 AM on September 14, 2011


Adobe and RIM are trying to prevent their trademarks from becoming genericized like like linoleum, aspirin, butterscotch, escalators, kerosene, heroin, zippers, and thermoses.
posted by straight at 12:40 AM on September 14 [+] [!]


slight derail

My first exposure to this was in the "Letters and Tomatoes Dept." of MAD Magazine, where a representative of Dow Chemical wrote in about the use of the trademark "Styrofoam" from a 'News Of The Future' bit they ran predicting that in 20XX an entirely new island will form off the coast of New York made completely out of Styrofoam (or something). The writer encouraged MAD to, in the future, use the terms "Foam cups, foam plates, or nautical billets" to which they responded in in a genial but snarky fashion, as is their wont, ending with "What the hell are 'nautical billets'??"

The next letter was from a guy saying how he kept his old MAD magazines in his shed, and rats went and ate up everything in the shed EXCEPT his MAD Magazines. The editors theorized that perhaps he protected them by lining his shed with foam cups, foam plates, and nautical billets.

On Preview: Oh here

/derail.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:01 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


How long before Amazon tries to change "Kindle" to a verb? Now that you've Googled your ebook, you'll be able to Kindle it.
posted by modemac at 11:07 AM on September 14, 2011


(...although changing it to a verb might add a new meaning to the word "Kindling.")
posted by modemac at 11:09 AM on September 14, 2011


I think you've nailed it, modemac. Amazon probably gets wet dreams thinking about people using "kindling" to mean buying a book the way they use "google" to mean perform a search.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:12 AM on September 14, 2011


Of course, dead-tree books are alo used as kindling. (As a noun, that is.) :)
posted by modemac at 11:21 AM on September 14, 2011


Now that you've Googled your ebook, you'll be able to Kindle it.

But what does that mean: "buy a book in the mobi (or azw) format," "download a book in any format to your Kindle," or "covert an e-book to the mobi (or azw) format"?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:30 AM on September 14, 2011


i know this is late to the party, but as long as we're discussing missing particles and modifiers:

my boss, who always managed to mimic business jargon (like SYNERGY *growl*) he'd hear elsewhere, started saying "the copier in 410 needs fixed". basically dropping "to be".

*jams pencil in eye*

where in the world did that come from? cause when he said it wasn't the first time I'd heard that. he just kept parroting that.
posted by ninjew at 11:57 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you trying to provoke languagehat into coming out of early retirement?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:04 PM on September 14, 2011


Hulk like.
posted by klangklangston at 12:34 PM on September 14, 2011


"But any company is free to label their products as "zippers" or "butterscotch.""

Butterscotch has never been a trademark itself.

You may substitute Dumpsters as your example du jour.
posted by klangklangston at 12:45 PM on September 14, 2011


I've been following the rumors about the Kindle 4, because I've been leaning towards buying a Kindle, but the rumor is the new version will be out in a few months, but as for exactly what it is, rumors vary from "it'll have a color screen" to "it will seek out and hunt down any iPad in a 5-mile radius and scavenge it for parts and reduce anything it can't assimilate to its component elements."

When I saw the FPP I thought it might be about that, but I have to admit this thread has been much more amusing.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:32 PM on September 14, 2011


my boss,...started saying "the copier in 410 needs fixed". basically dropping "to be".

*jams pencil in eye*

where in the world did that come from? cause when he said it wasn't the first time I'd heard that. he just kept parroting that.


(Sheepishly) Um...am I the only who thinks this does not sound awkward or problematic, even though it may not be technically correct?
posted by mreleganza at 1:47 AM on September 15, 2011


my boss,...started saying "the copier in 410 needs fixed". basically dropping "to be".

*jams pencil in eye*

where in the world did that come from? cause when he said it wasn't the first time I'd heard that. he just kept parroting that.

(Sheepishly) Um...am I the only who thinks this does not sound awkward or problematic, even though it may not be technically correct?


Ninjew's boss is probably from western PA. As I understand, it ultimately comes from (probably 18th century) Scotland.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:04 AM on September 15, 2011


I heard "needs fixed" a lot when working offshore so it's either Scots or Cajun.
posted by arcticseal at 4:10 AM on September 15, 2011


If you're working within the BlackBerry ecosystem RIM's insistence that BlackBerry is an adjective makes sense. There's a "BlackBerry device" or "BlackBerry handheld", along with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, BlackBerry Internet Service, etc.

I wonder why they feel the need to explicitly assert that BlackBerry can't be a verb, though. I would have loved to have read the sentence that prompted that.
posted by phoenixy at 8:09 AM on September 15, 2011


Ninjew's boss is probably from western PA. As I understand, it ultimately comes from (probably 18th century) Scotland.

I think you may be on to something there, since I'm from near there (Northeast Ohio), and my Texan girlfriend confirms it sounds weird to her.
posted by mreleganza at 8:17 AM on September 15, 2011


According to Wikipedia, 'needs fixed' is a feature of Central Pennsylvania dialects

It's also present in some of the rural and semi-rural/exurban dialects of the Plains states (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska).

Here's a map
tracking this particular linguistic quirk.
posted by chara at 8:32 AM on September 15, 2011


Wow, ninjew (older brother), while you are welcome to visit me here in east central Illinois, I don't recommend staying. The "needs _____ed" convention runs rampant 'round these parts. I've always heard it as a rural shortcut, something like parking on the front lawn when it's more expedient than waiting for the garage to open.
posted by obscurator at 9:32 AM on September 16, 2011


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