I've noticed that there are considerable differences in capitalization of proprietary words in various dictionaries and am wondering if this depends mostly on diifferent trademark situations that might exist in different countries: Take the follwing examples:
c=cap nc=non cap c+nc- both cap and non cap
Cdn Oxford OED Encarta
1-aspirin c nc nc
2-cellophane c c+nc nc
3-saran nc c nc
4-realtor nc c c
5=laundromat nc c c
Anyone?
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H. Richler:
I've noticed that there are considerable differences in capitalization of proprietary words in various dictionaries and am wondering if this depends mostly on diifferent trademark situations that might exist in different countries: .. Cdn Oxford OED Encarta 1-aspirin c nc nc

Well, that one fits the hypothesis. "Aspirin" is a tradermark in Canada, but not in the US or Britain.

Mark Brader, Toronto > "Ask not for whom the compiler waits; (Email Removed) > it waits for thee." Henry Spencer
H. Richler:

I've noticed that there are considerable differences in capitalization of ... diifferent trademark situations that might exist in different countries: ...

Cdn Oxford OED Encarta 1-aspirin c nc nc

Well, that one fits the hypothesis. "Aspirin" is a tradermark in Canada, but not in the US or Britain.

I was under the impression that the trademark had been given up at the Treaty of Versailles, but couldn't find a specific reference. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

Andrew Gwilliam
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I've noticed that there are considerable differences incapitalization of proprietary words in various dictionaries and am wondering if this depends ... c nc nc 2-cellophane c c+nc nc 3-saran nc c nc 4-realtor nc c c 5=laundromat nc c c Anyone?

Well, I know that "Aspirin" is still a trademark in Canada and "Cellophane" in shown in my *Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary* as being a registered trademark in both the French and the English side. Realtor is certainly a trademark in the US but my Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary also shows it as being a trademark of the Canadian Association of Real Estate Boards.
"Biro," used as a generic term for a ballpoint pen in Britain, would be capitalized when used as a trademark, but my Oxford-Hachette shows it having a small letter (although accompanied by a trademark sign). This means, I think, along with the Canadian Oxford entry for "Realtor" which you mention, that there's no guarantee that a trademarked term won't appear in a dictionary with a small letter if it is used in a generic fashion.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Might it not also depend on the editorial concerns of the dictionary compiler? If their philosophy is "our dictionary reflects real language usage" and they're aware that no one capitalises realtor or cellophane, might they not reflect that usage in their dictionary?

Of the above list, I can't think of any context where I'd capitalise any of them (in Leftpondian American English) apart from first position in a sentence.
I do note that www.m-w.com defines realtor as "a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors". That is a very unlikely and unrealistic definition.
Padraic.
la cieurgeourea provoer mal trasfu
ast meiyoer ke 'l andrext ben trasfu.
Well, I know that "Aspirin" is still a trademark in ... small letter if it is used in a generic fashion.

Might it not also depend on the editorial concerns of the dictionary compiler? If their philosophy is "our dictionary reflects ... of any context where I'd capitalise any of them (in Leftpondian American English) apart from first position in a sentence.

M-W has labels like "usu. cap." and "cap." and also indicates "Trademark" when it applies.
I do note that www.m-w.com defines realtor as "a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors". That is a very unlikely and unrealistic definition.

But the precise one. They're like Xerox and Coke they threaten you if you misuse "Realtor" in print.

Peter T. Daniels (Email Removed)
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I do note that www.m-w.com defines realtor as "a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors". That is a very unlikely and unrealistic definition.

RHUD's is even more specific:
"a person who works in the real-estate business and is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, or one of its constituent boards, and abides by its Code of Ethics."
So by definition there are no unethical Realtor(tm)s.

Ray Heindl
(remove the Xs to reply)
Might it not also depend on the editorial concerns of ... Leftpondian American English) apart from first position in a sentence.

M-W has labels like "usu. cap." and "cap." and also indicates "Trademark" when it applies.

That's nice. I ain't M-W, either.
I do note that www.m-w.com defines realtor as "a real ... of Realtors". That is a very unlikely and unrealistic definition.

But the precise one.

Precise? Certainly. Also rather off target. More on target is "an agent who deals in real estate".
They're like Xerox and Coke they threaten you if you misuse "Realtor" in print.

I'm sure they could try it! Xerox I understand only as a company name I've always used photocopy for something xerographically reproduced. And a coke is a coke, whether bottled by the Pepsi Cola Co. or the Coca Cola Co. Heck it doesn't even have to be a cola!

Padraic.
la cieurgeourea provoer mal trasfu
ast meiyoer ke 'l andrext ben trasfu.
But the precise one.

Precise? Certainly. Also rather off target. More on target is "an agent who deals in real estate".

Akcherly, the www.m-w.com defines "Realtor" (note the capitalization), and by gosh and by golly, it has is just right, no matter what some may think. There's no accounting for how some people use words, but then, most of the time it doesn't matter. People often are not much good at saying what they mean, but prolonged conversations usually reveal the real meaning. It's a hassle with some, though.
And please, don't give me a Coke, much less an orange soda, when I ask for a Pepsi.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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