Jun 8, 2007

A polite request from LEGO

I received a polite request from LEGO... and being that I'm just as guilty as the next person for doing this, my apology will be in the form of a post to fix the requested problem. So, LEGO, here is my way of saying... "I'm sorry" :)

1. It is LEGO, not Lego. All caps. All the time.

2. It is not Mindstorm (singular) or Mindstorms (plural)... it is MINDSTORMS. All caps. All the time.

3. It is not MindStorm or MindStorms... again, MINDSTORMS. All caps. All the time.

4. It is not Rcx or Nxt or rcx or nxt. It is RCX and NXT. All caps. All the time.

Now, LEGO, that said... I will NOT correct, edit, and/or delete posts and comments that use them incorrectly... I don't have the time and, quite honestly, people type fast (myself included) and frequently these little errors are going to pop up... sorry. But for the record, I have now posted a "general use" policy and have done my little part to try and educate our readers. You're welcome ;)

Jim

22 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

Biby Cletus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Kelly said...

Hi, Biby... thanks... glad you found us.

Jim

Rick Rhodes said...

Jim,

I understand LEGO's concern with trademarks and names, and will be happy to comply by spelling LEGO, NXT and MINDSTORMS with all caps, all the time.

However, while trademarks on boxes look great in all caps, using all caps in compositions can give readers the feeling that you are SHOUTING AT THEM. :-)

What looks good on a box doesn't necessarily translate to the written page, particularly if it's a casual post.

Just my two centavos.

Rick

Dean Hystad said...

How do they know we are referring to their product? Maybe I just misspelt next, and I want my daughter to let go of my LEGO. Having a tough time coming up with one for rcx (note correct spelling and capitalization because it is not being used to refer to a MINDSTORMS RCX).

C'mon LEGO, you remind me of that old Carly Simon song. Your so vain you probably think this blog is about you.

Jim Kelly said...

Rick,

I'm in total agreement... I don't mind LEGO, but MINDSTORMS combined with LEGO does seem like yelling... so I may still use LEGO Mindstorms here and there ;)

dc said...

Huh, I just noticed that uppercase MINDSTORMS thing. It makes no sense! It's not an abbreviation for anything (is it?). Also their logo is a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, so perhaps they should send themselves a polite request. :-)

Anonymous said...

If you haven't heard yet the LEGO message boards now switch Lego or lego to LEGO.

Jim Kelly said...

I totally understand this... they're trying to make sure their brand is protected and not mis-used... if companies don't do this or don't enforce it, courts have been known to side with opposing sides when it comes time for rulings on misuse and/or infringement issues... LEGO is just trying to apply some control and I can respect that.

Dean Hystad said...

Their request can be logical and reasonable, but we can still poke fun at them for making it.

Kirk Backstrom said...

DC,

Good point. It is also interesting that the Official MINDSTORMS website has other examples of MINDSTORMS spelled Mindstorms on their main page (check the buttons on the right hand side and the flash animation).

But the main point is that we should try to spell MINDSTORMS in all caps most of the time, and a few Mindstorms slip-ups doesn't really matter.

Maniac of Mayhem said...

I understand why Lego - er, LEGO - wants us to type things that way. And I could care less that they made that clear... but I'm really not going to go out of my way to type differently. I could care less how others type, and I really don't think it is terribly important how I type.

Jim Kelly said...

I understand why Lego - er, LEGO - wants us to type things that way. And I could care less that they made that clear... but I'm really not going to go out of my way to type differently. I could care less how others type, and I really don't think it is terribly important how I type.

Well, Maniac... that's your choice. But writing clearly is a skill that employers value, so you might want to reconsider ;)

As someone who writes for a living (and does make mistakes), proper grammar is an absolute requirement. This includes using proper spelling of corporate names and products. On the blog I can probably let it slide a bit, but I try not to do this...

Also - it's "couldn't care less" instead of "could care less." The former implies you really cannot care anymore and the latter implies that there is a little bit more indifference you could show. I think you mean the former in that you "really couldn't care less what LEGO thinks" - and that's too bad, because LEGO does read these comments and probably DOES at least care what you think.

Anonymous said...

It is good to see that brainwashing is working.

"You must write our name in capitals"

Big Brother
Microsoft
lego

There seems to be a similar theme here.

Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

Not much about "brain-washing"...

How many people like to have there own name clearly recognized, spelled correctly, or even pronounced correctly? I do.

I even like to get it right for other people (and companies)!

Christopher R. Smith
(Yep, with the caps in the right spots, Smith)

Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

One thing....

"MindStorms" has usually been accepted by those "In Charge".

This goes back to the 1997-1998 start of the Official MINDSTORMS forums.

Maybe someone from LEGO should send me an email as well.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Just remember lego didn't come up with the word Mindstorms in the first place. It was named after Seymour Papert's seminal book 'Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas'. Notice not in all caps ;-p

Anonymous said...

Jim, no good deed ever goes unpunished!

You did your part and provided the information and that's all you can do. If some choose to intentionally take jabs at LEGO, let them. They show their true colors and lose the respect of those of us in the community who try and do the right thing.

Dale

Myles said...

I know there reasons, and I agree with them. Its not terribly wrong to make a joke or two at it.

It just feels awkward to know everything you write may be read by LEGO. <--- see! I had to retype that to upper case!

anyways.... yes master, whatever you say
LEGO
MINDSTORMS
RCX

Oh well, I will keep this in mind while writing in the future.

Jim Kelly said...

Myles and others.

I think my original post has been misinterpreted. I don't see them being upset with comments that have Mindstorms or Lego... they're human to and type just like the rest of us... it'll get old real quick trying to police everything we write.

I think what LEGO is asking is for those of us in the publishing world - books, blogs, etc - to try and be more consistent with how we use their name. As an example, take a look at the header on our blog - I modified it today to correct these mistakes that I, too, made when creating this blog. They just asked us to be more aware and we are happy to do so...

If you're writing a comment or email and write Lego or MiNdStOrMs, you're not going to get sued (I hope) or tracked down - but those of us who create material that references the company and its products have been asked, rather politely, to just try and be more careful.

So... everyone... lighten up a bit. The post was just my silly way of letting LEGO know that I'm on board (because yes, they do check in on our blog)... I didn't mean to stir up a storm.

And thanks, Dale... that statement you made popped in my mind earlier ;)

Jim

Anonymous said...

While it's understandable why LEGO is asking for this, standard AP Style encourages the use of lowercase after the first capital letter. The Wikipedia Manual of Style leverages this in their guidelines:

"Follow standard English text formatting and capitalization rules even if the trademark owner encourages special treatment:
avoid: REALTOR®
instead, use: Realtor"

Brian Davis said...

Um, no offense here, but... why don't we all get back to playing with the toys we have, instead of worrying about the stylistic, legal, and grammatical aspects :-) ?

--
Brian Davis
(who was certainly not contacted by LEGO for his grammatical abilities)

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