1/17/2008

CAR MAKER HUBRIS!

Does it really not bother you that car companies refer to their cars "by name", without using articles like "the"?

It's so subtle you can easily miss it, but pay attention next time you hear a car commercial. You'll hear something like, "Tundra features the latest in…" and "Come test drive Camry today…"

That's right. Not "the Camry"---just "Camry." As if they are not objects, but people.

When was the last time you said to someone, "Hey, Accord blew a head gasket so I'm gonna take her into the shop, can I hang out with Civic for a few days?" This, folks, just doesn't happen. Automakers have obviously gone mad with power and believe they are creating living things. Face reality, Honda, Toyota, Chevy, you are not the All Spark. When your cars can stand up, walk, and shoot missiles, then you may drop the "the" and call them by name, but not a goddamn minute sooner!

16 comments:

  1. Apple does the same thing in their user manuals. "When you first take iPod out of the box, let it charge for..." or "Careful, iPod is capable of destroying your eardrums!" It's kind of absurd.

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  2. I did not know that. VERY absurd. Just who do these companies think they are?

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  3. That is definitely unnerving; I wonder what the next phase is in their plan, the Isaac...

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  4. Hey Isaac, cars have feelings too, and belittling them by taking away the 'the' before their names makes them feel less special.. No wonder why your Hyundai was giving you troubles.. Geesh..

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  5. They don't do that in the UK. I have noticed that American TV shows used to call the internet just "Internet". Like "you can connect to Internet by ...".

    I think maybe they don't do that in the UK because it would sound like a Yorkshire accent "Eyup love ahm orf ta drive Camrih" or something.

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  6. Yes, this is highly irritating! Apple does (or used to at least, I'm not sure if they still do) the same thing in the iPod user manuals and other places, referring to it as "iPod" and providing instructions such as, "turn iPod on and connect it to your computer."

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  7. If things like this bother you, you really need to get a life.

    Good grief.

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  8. i don't understand why you think that brand names should be preceded by an article-- they ARE names. no one says "let's go eat at the McDonald's."

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  9. Anonymous, Camry is not the brand name, Toyota is the brand name, Camry is the model. Using your analogy, it would be like saying "I'm going to go McDonalds and eat Big Mac."

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  10. Camry is a brand name owned by Toyota. A brand name does not have to be a company name, it can be a model name. Camry is a registered trademark:
    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=s0klr9.2.2

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  11. the link above is not fully displayed. as displayed, it points to a different registration. correct registration number for is 1262925.

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=s0klr9.3.1

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  12. My dear Anonymous! You're clearly insane! Of course a brand name is a company name, can you give one example otherwise? Yes Camry is a trademark, just like Big Mac is a trademark, but it's not the BRAND, it's the name of the product that the brand MAKES. Why do you think they call it a "Toyota Camry"? The purpose of brands is so that you know various products are made by the same people. The only time a brand name and a product name are the same is when that brand/company only produces one product, such as the "George Foreman Grill."

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  13. Hi Isaak!

    You are confusing brands with company names. It is not the purpose of brands to let you know that various products are made by the same company. For example, Sara Lee Corporation sells bread under its BIMBO brand, it sells cakes under its Sara Lee brand, it sells shoe polish under its KIWI brand... A customer would not always know that all of these items come from the same company. Procter & Gamble is an even better example: OLAY, TIDE, CREST, DAWN, ALWAYS, PAMPERS, FOLGERS, BRAUN, ORAL-B, DURACELL, PRINGLES, BOUNTY, BOSS, AUSSI, TAMPAX, MAX FACTOR-- are just a few of the brands controlled by P&G. If you would like a car example, take Ford Motor Company. It owns Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover brands.

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  14. It's becoming too difficult to put into words why this is all wrong, but it IS! I realize there are overarching corporations behind many brand names, but I don't see how that matters. Black and Decker makes a product called "Snake Light", but that doesn't mean "Snake Light" is the brand, it's the product made by Black and Decker, a subcategory if you will, so no one is going to say "I'm going to buy Snake Light." You'd say "The Snakelight" or "A Snake Light", because it's an individual product made by Black and Decker. You drop the article when something is used as an adjective to describe another item. For instance, saying "I need a Camry user manual" would be correct, but not "I need a user manual for Camry."

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  15. Now you are confusing products with brands. Although people often feel that products and brands are interchangeable (which fuels further public confusion and misconceptions), they aren't. In your example, Snake Light is clearly a brand. The product in question is a flashlight.

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