Monday, June 23, 2008

Is Attention to Detail Your Writing Trademark?

“An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product, or service.”—Daniel J. Boorstin

It was a tough week last week. My main sewer drain backed up. Mopping up was not fun. A better description? Gag!

Did I need Roto-Rooter Man or Plumber Guy? I made a couple of phone calls to obtain a testosterone-laiden recommendation. Beth called Rob, her husband. He suggested Mr. Roto-Rooter. Another blue gene referral, Daddy Warbucks, recommended, “A plumber.”

In my mind, “plumber” means MegaBigBucks. Mr. Roto-Rooter? Just BigBucks.

Remember this jingle? “Call Roto-Rooter, that's the name, and away go troubles down the drain.” I called Mr. Generic Roto-Rooter, who claimed to be cheaper in the yellow pages than Mr. Genuine Roto-Rooter was.

De-Throned: Don’t Flush This Down the Toilet
The problem was of my own doing—throwing stuff down the toilet that I knew I shouldn’t. What a relief to know that the problem was not roots strangling my drain and pocket book. I was so grateful my plumbing did not have mega-serious problems. So much so that I happily paid $166. In return, Mr. Generic Roto-Rooter Man handed me a bag with the goodies obstructing my drain. Gag!

I’ve often coveted the turbo toilet that flushes 29 golf balls with the twist of the wrist, plus anything else you desire to throw into it. What they do not tell you is: your main drain may not accept 29 golf balls.

Trademark Checklist
I wondered, Are roto-rooter or yellow pages trademarked names? Nope. Usually, I Google the word. If ™ is after the word, it’s trademarked. I discovered the International Trademark Association (INTA), which assists authors, writers, journalists, editors, proofreaders, copywriters and fact checkers with proper trademark usage. It includes listings for nearly 3,000 U.S. registered trademarks and service marks with their generic terms as well as proper capitalization and punctuation.

Inserting a Trademark Symbol

There are two ways to insert a ™.

The First Way Is Longer
Click where you want to insert the symbol.
On the Insert menu, click Special Characters.
Click on the Trademark symbol.
Click on Insert.
Click on Close.

This Way Is Quicker
Click on Alt, control, T.

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