Adobe wants to privatize the language

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Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,785
Adobe wants to privatize the language
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From The Economist, Sept. 9, 2017, p. 80:

Adobe, maker of Photoshop, publishes an elaborate list of thou-shalt and thou-shalt-nots, even dictating the grammatical uses of its famous trademark. First on that list is “Trademarks are not verbs”. The company wants you to say not “The image was photoshopped” but “The image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software.” Adobe’s injunctions go on to get confused. “Trademarks must never be used in possessive form,” the list continues, so you should not write “Photoshop’s new features are impressive.” This is presumably because Adobe believes that “Trademarks are not nouns,” including Photoshop. But this is nonsense: “Photoshop” is used as a noun endlessly on Adobe’s own website.

Adobe’s rules for “Photoshop” have no force; the instructions actually say “you should”, not “you must”, but the page is formatted to look intimidatingly legal. Legally, Adobe’s grammatical diktats are not worth a photoshopped image of its CEO riding a unicorn. They are not part of any contract, nor are they covered by trademark law. That is about commerce, not intellectual, public or casual speech. It can stop you from selling image-editing software called Photoshoppe, but not from calling an edited image “photoshopped.”

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