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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Punctuating Product Names
Posted by Anonymous on
3/9/2006 at 4:57 AM ET
Do product names need to be grammatically correct? I'm working on launching a new product called Global Products' Outlook. Should the apostrophe be dropped to improve the clarity of the title?
3/9/2006 at 5:06 AM
GLOBAL PRODUCT OUTLOOK
Keep it simple in my opinion, what would you like the title to say actually?
it is the outlook of produts?
the globality of the products?
Global outlook of products?
In any case the above has all of that in it and is correct as it is.
3/9/2006 at 7:13 AM
Advertising is one area where grammar goes out the window. I'm sure some would disagree but I don't think it's an issue. I wouldn't want a product to need an apostrophe. Very few consumers even notice these things
3/9/2006 at 8:24 AM
Generally speaking, get the punctuation correct or invite ridicule. I agree that in advertising that punctuation is often neglected, but when it is, it will be for a very good reason.
Grammatically, “Product” shouldn’t have an apostrophe at all. In you example, it indicates the possessive, though it can also, by convention, indicate a missing letter. In classic grammar, inanimate objects cannot be the subject of the possessive, though modern usage appears to favour a relaxation of the rules.
The good reason I cited above could include a word included in a heading or title, where for reasons of modern convention, almost all punctuation is abandoned including full stops (periods to the Americans), commas and inverted commas.
The time to revert to the correct utilisation of punctuation is when ambiguity would otherwise arise and this is potentially one of those cases. Another is when the headline is plain silly and reflects badly on the advertiser. The best example of this is the “Grocer’s Apostrophe” See:
Or put “Define: apostrophe” into a Google search (Without the inverted commas)
Also read Lyn Truss’s book “Eats Shoots and Leaves” which has been a run-away best seller in the UK and is growing in popularity in the USA. It has suddenly made punctuation a very sexy topic!
Leaving the apostrophe out of your example will not harm the message and it is arguable that as it appears to be a title or a heading, the rules of grammatical and classical punctuation can be suspended but it does leave the phrase open to several interpretations – with or without the apostrophe.
Woutkok’s explanation demonstrates the ambiguity contained in your original Phrase. Its intended meaning as written is probably none of the ones he proffered; it should be “The outlook of global products” but most readers would interpret it any of the ways presented, two of which are not that which you intended!
Why not re-write it so that it is unambiguous?
3/9/2006 at 8:44 AM
Agree with powerwriter and stevea, plus from an aesthetic perspective, you don't need the apostrophe.
From a strictly emotional angle, "Global Products Outlook" creates about as much empathy as the "Beige Book" that the US Federal Reserve puts out every few months.
If the above name means something in your market and you think it will have sufficient "traction", go for it - otherwise, I would recommend re-thinking the product name to get some emotional impact.
Hope this helps,
3/9/2006 at 11:32 AM
dont sweat the punctuation... dont worry about spelling...
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