Testy Copy Editors

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 Post subject: Welcome wagon woes
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 26
Location: Albany, NY
The business editor has objected to the copy desk's use of "welcome wagon" in a headline on a story about a new, welcome-wagon like service for newcomers to this upstate new york region.<p>The hed was something like "A new spin on the welcome wagon."<p>Her argument was that "Welcome Wagon" is a trademark for a specific organization.<p>My argument was that the second entry in Webster's allows for the lowercase usage in a general context, as in the headline we ran.<p>And we haven't received any unwelcoming letters from Welcome Wagon lawyers, which seems to strengthen my point.<p>My question is: is the biz editor right? Are there other examples of words or phrases that are trademarked in the uppercase, but would be OK lowercase?


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome wagon woes
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 8342
Location: Bethesda, Md.
"Welcome Wagon" is listed as a service mark in Webster's New World, Fourth Edition, which I believe is your dictionary of first reference. There is no lowercase usage listed.<p>However, of course, there's nothing wrong with using "welcome wagon" on such a story. Tell the business editor to go to a Chamber of Commerce dinner or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome wagon woes
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 316
Location: Albany, NY
If this outfit functions like the trademarked Welcome Wagon, albeit by another name, the hed actually works. Why the same outfit is worth a story is another matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome wagon woes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 145
Location: Toronto
Make amends with your business editor: Hand him a kleenex and take him out for a coke and bowl of jello.


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