Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flagrant Foul

Does everything have to be branded and logoed? The NBA's championship series is the NBA championship series. Or the title series. Or the championship. But, because everything has to be branded and logoed, we have The Finals. Don't fall for it. Call it the finals if you must, but it's not The Finals, and it's certainly not The Finals (believe me, they'd force the font on you if they could).

Basketball has always had it in for me. I've written about my annoyance at the linguistic rituals surrounding the NCAA tournament (at least the pros save their excitement for the top two teams instead of making the semifinals the holy grail). Maybe I'd understand all this if I were taller.


Unknown said...

I've done editorial work for ... a website run by a certain large IT company that shall remain anonymous to spare the innocent (and me). They had a product line that was called (something very much like) "eComputers", and in their logo, the "e" was in a special font and had a ciricle kind of wrapped around it so it sort of looked like the @ symbol. Anyway, there was a point when the marketing people actually wanted us to insert an inline graphic of the modified "e" every single place that the product name appeared. Fortunately, editorial managed to talk them off the ledge, but only by explaining that Google wouldn't recognize the word as "eComputer" if the "e" was replaced by a graphic file, and thus we wouldn't get good search engine placement. Still, it was a near thing!

I can sort of see why the NBA is going this route, since they don't have a snappy name for their championship (a la "Superbowl" or "World Series"). On that note, what about the NFL's bizarre and quixotic attempt to enforce a trademark monopoly on the phrase "the big game", so pizza places can't say "buy three pizzas for your party for the big game" and such?

Girl with the Interesting Hair said...

I find that many (most?) of my corporate clients use capitalization all the time to convey the Importance (intentional I) of their Ideas. They hate when I change it to lowercase, even in a sentence like, "we provide our clients with Products and Services for Information Management..." I suppose it would be great if we were speaking German, right?

Unknown said...

Long time, first time.

It may not be The Finals, but it certainly should be the NBA Finals and just finals on all other references. No one would ever call it the NBA championship series, or the title series or the championship. No one. (Not even in conversation.) I'm only 26, but I've never heard it called anything else. Why knock its capitalization and not the World Series, Super Bowl, World Cup, ... or are you just knocking the The?

Stacia said...

When I worked with engineers I often had to correct the misused capitalization. They truly used it as one would with italics or bold.

Along the same lines as Josh, my employer names all of its products in this manner: smallBig, and sometimes XX | smallBig. The "small" part is Ariel bold and the "Big" part is some sort of non-bold serif font.

Some of us have changed our cube nameplates to reflect this format. Marketing finds it less amusing than the rest of us.