IF and trademarks

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Axel Toelke

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Sep 6, 2000, 11:18:50 AM9/6/00
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Give Self ~Concealed; Print "Hi folks, let me just de-lurk here for a sec.";

I have a question about IF authorship (or any authorship) and trademarks.
The FAQ seems to be a bit sketchy on the subject, so I thought I'd pick
your brains instead.

Now, I'm writing a rather puzzle-less, prose heavy bit of IF and
I would like to mention some specific products. One example would
be my protagonist's car. Sure, it's fine to say he drives a dark-blue
coupe, but for stylistic reasons I would rather have him drive a
BMW instead. Why? Because the symbol is much more charged with emotion.

Cars are one primary symbol in culture that people consume to
gain identity. Since my game is mostly about the meaning of identity,
I feel I need to use specific things.

What's the word on this? Can I mention any specific product names
(without getting prior consent from the trademark holder) or can't I?
In general fiction I see product names pop up all the time, and often
to very good effect. Are you telling me the author querried all these
companies for approval? Now, to clarify, these products would appear
as props. So, the game isn't called 'Bob's BMW Bonanza' or
'Jet & Jake's Excellent Coke Adventure', but product names would pop
up rather frequently.

I mean, if we as authors want to portray current culture how could
we not mention products? Maybe Adam Cadre could shed some light here,
because being published means he probably had to look into this at
least once.

Any takers?

Cheers,

Axel


Give Self Concealed; Rtrue;

---
The world is wild at heart
and weird on top - Lula

ax...@atoelke.demon.co.uk
http://www.atoelke.demon.co.uk


Mark Musante - Sun Microsystems

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Sep 6, 2000, 11:45:35 AM9/6/00
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Axel Toelke (ax...@atoelke.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> What's the word on this? Can I mention any specific product names
> (without getting prior consent from the trademark holder) or can't I?

See http://ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/zcode/coke.zip


-=- Mark -=-

Kevin Russell

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Sep 6, 2000, 12:03:32 PM9/6/00
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A trademark means you're not allowed to use their term to refer to your
own product. There's no way (short of assassination) that a company
can stop you from using their trademarks to talk about *their* products.
You need no permission. You don't even have to use those silly
circled-R or superscript TM thingies.

The copyright pages in most computer books will have a generic
statement like (choosing a book at random from his shelf): "All brand
names and product names used in this book are trade names, service
marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners."
I've never seen a fiction book that does the same (not that I routinely
study their copyright pages :-)). If it makes you feel better, include
something like it in your Readme file, or in your about box, or wherever.
If it doesn't make you feel better, don't

-- Kevin

Adam Cadre

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Sep 6, 2000, 2:27:38 PM9/6/00
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Axel Toelke wrote:
> I mean, if we as authors want to portray current culture how could
> we not mention products? Maybe Adam Cadre could shed some light here,
> because being published means he probably had to look into this at
> least once.

You don't have to get permission to refer to brand-name products.
What you can't do, however, is use them as common nouns -- and you
might be surprised at how many seemingly common nouns are actually
brand names. For instance, it's Frisbee, not frisbee; Dumpster, not
dumpster; Popsicle, not popsicle, Tabasco sauce, not tabasco sauce.
(Every one of these appeared in my manuscript and was pounced upon
by my editors. I personally think "Dumpster" looks silly, but the
lawyers don't really care what I think.)

-----
Adam Cadre, Sammamish, WA
web site: http://adamcadre.ac
novel: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060195584/adamcadreac

Jon Ingold

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Sep 6, 2000, 1:12:50 PM9/6/00
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> A trademark means you're not allowed to use their term to refer to your
> own product. There's no way (short of assassination) that a company
> can stop you from using their trademarks to talk about *their* products.
> You need no permission. You don't even have to use those silly
> circled-R or superscript TM thingies.

Presumably who want to avoid using it to say anything like "Those damn <car
brand>'s. They never work properly, and the manufacturers are all
whore-mongers anyway", as that might just be libel.

Well, not very good libel.

Jon


Dan Schmidt

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Sep 6, 2000, 4:04:58 PM9/6/00
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Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac> writes:

| You don't have to get permission to refer to brand-name products.
| What you can't do, however, is use them as common nouns -- and you
| might be surprised at how many seemingly common nouns are actually
| brand names. For instance, it's Frisbee, not frisbee; Dumpster, not
| dumpster; Popsicle, not popsicle, Tabasco sauce, not tabasco sauce.
| (Every one of these appeared in my manuscript and was pounced upon
| by my editors. I personally think "Dumpster" looks silly, but the
| lawyers don't really care what I think.)

I had a conversation about this with Adam a while ago, and the next
day I was reading MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN by Jonathan Lethem (great book,
btw), and there in one of the first chapters is a Dumpster, capital D.
So, there you go, or something.

--
Dan Schmidt | http://www.dfan.org
Honest Bob CD now available! | http://www.dfan.org/honestbob/cd.html

Konnrad / T Taylor

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Sep 6, 2000, 4:06:00 PM9/6/00
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> You don't have to get permission to refer to brand-name products.
> What you can't do, however, is use them as common nouns -- and you
> might be surprised at how many seemingly common nouns are actually
> brand names. For instance, it's Frisbee, not frisbee; Dumpster, not
> dumpster; Popsicle, not popsicle, Tabasco sauce, not tabasco sauce.
> (Every one of these appeared in my manuscript and was pounced upon
> by my editors. I personally think "Dumpster" looks silly, but the
> lawyers don't really care what I think.)

And that's why I don't care about lawyers!

The jail sentence miffs me a bit, though.

TOM

P.S. Is it as fulfilling as I'd think it would be to publish a novel, Mr Cadre? Or
does it leave you hollow, with the desire to do more? Or is it a hollow fulfillment
mixture?


Duncan Stevens

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Sep 6, 2000, 6:10:11 PM9/6/00
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> You don't have to get permission to refer to brand-name products.
> What you can't do, however, is use them as common nouns -- and you
> might be surprised at how many seemingly common nouns are actually
> brand names. For instance, it's Frisbee, not frisbee; Dumpster, not
> dumpster; Popsicle, not popsicle, Tabasco sauce, not tabasco sauce.
> (Every one of these appeared in my manuscript and was pounced upon
> by my editors. I personally think "Dumpster" looks silly, but the
> lawyers don't really care what I think.)

Well, actually, what was going on there wasn't trademark infringement as
such, it was what's casually called "genericide," or at least the
possibility of it. By using trademarks as terms to describe the objects
themselves, you're making the terms generic--the round plastic throwable
object is becoming a frisbee, not a throwable disc from the Frisbee line of
products (or whatever). (I thought Wham-O had already lost that one, but
apparently not.) And a generic term can't be a trademark, because then
you're preventing everyone else from selling the product. So if you cause
someone else to lose his trademark by making the term generic, you're taking
away his property. Now, with all due respect to Adam, the appearances in his
book of the term Frisbee probably aren't really going to be what pushes the
name over the edge (though, if Adam's name were J.K. Rowling, things might
look a little different), but he could still probably be one of the people
named in a suit. (More to the point, though, Adam's publisher's liability
insurer probably requires that the editors weed out possible genericides,
along with things like libel and such.)

There's a separate doctrine in trademarks (and elsewhere in other forms)
that essentially says that if someone infringes your trademark, you know
about it, and you don't get on the ball and yell at them and tell them to
stop, you can lose your rights to the trademark. I don't know if that's been
applied to genericide, but if it has, that might be part of it as well.

--Duncan


T Raymond

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Sep 6, 2000, 11:59:44 PM9/6/00
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Axel Toelke was overheard typing about:

>So, the game isn't called 'Bob's BMW
>Bonanza' or 'Jet & Jake's Excellent Coke Adventure', but product
>names would pop up rather frequently.

I don't know about this, but I predict at least one of these games
shows up in the next Comp. *L*

Tom
--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Tom Raymond adk AT usaDOTnet
"The original professional ameteur."
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

W. Top Changwatchai

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Sep 8, 2000, 3:11:36 AM9/8/00
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Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac> wrote in message
news:39B68C...@adamcadre.ac...

> You don't have to get permission to refer to brand-name products.
> What you can't do, however, is use them as common nouns -- and you
> might be surprised at how many seemingly common nouns are actually
> brand names. For instance, it's Frisbee, not frisbee; Dumpster, not
> dumpster; Popsicle, not popsicle, Tabasco sauce, not tabasco sauce.
> (Every one of these appeared in my manuscript and was pounced upon
> by my editors. I personally think "Dumpster" looks silly, but the
> lawyers don't really care what I think.)

It looks even sillier capitalized as "DumpSter" which I believe I've seen on
the actual trucks.

One of my favorite examples is of a new hire at Canon who talked about
"xeroxing" some documents. The person was told that "around here, we prefer
the term 'photocopy.'"

Anyway, isn't there a point at which some trademarked names are considered
to be so common that they can legally be used as common nouns? I'm thinking
specifically of "aspirin." And down south (uh, American South), "coke" is a
generic term:

Patron: "I'd like a coke, please."
Waiter: "What kind?"
Patron: "Gimme a Pepsi."

Top
--
W. Top Changwatchai
chngwtch at u i u c dot edu

Heinz-Georg Pussar

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Sep 8, 2000, 12:52:21 PM9/8/00
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W. Top Changwatchai wrote:

>
> Anyway, isn't there a point at which some trademarked names are considered
> to be so common that they can legally be used as common nouns? I'm thinking
> specifically of "aspirin."

erm.. no, the thing is, that is was a german trademark (and patent) from
the time before WWII.
During WWII the Pentagon (obviously) didn't like to ask the Germans to
use their
trademarks and patents, so that they were all cancelled in the US.
In Germany, of course they still do apply (At least the trademark; I use
aspirin , that is not Aspirin :).

Heinz-Georg Pussar

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 16, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/16/00
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Kevin Russell <krus...@home.com> wrote:

> A trademark means you're not allowed to use their term to refer to your
> own product. There's no way (short of assassination) that a company
> can stop you from using their trademarks to talk about *their* products.

Right. One thing some trademark-holders do get testy about is
klenecising their brand name. (That is, using it as a generic
term for a type of product, like Jell-O.) But that's not what
you're talking about doing.


--

Forward all spam to u...@ftc.gov

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 16, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/16/00
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Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac> wrote:

> You don't have to get permission to refer to brand-name products.
> What you can't do, however, is use them as common nouns -- and you
> might be surprised at how many seemingly common nouns are actually
> brand names. For instance, it's Frisbee, not frisbee; Dumpster, not
> dumpster; Popsicle, not popsicle, Tabasco sauce, not tabasco sauce.
> (Every one of these appeared in my manuscript and was pounced upon
> by my editors. I personally think "Dumpster" looks silly, but the
> lawyers don't really care what I think.)

The bad thing is, sometimes there's no reasonable synonym.
Thermos, for example, AFAICT has no generic term unless you
want to just *describe* it ("insulated beverage container
that matches the lunch box"). You might be able to get
away with a footnote, although in IF that's awkward.

Shouldn't Tabasco sauce be capitalised anyway,
like English muffin? Then again, french fries aren't...

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 16, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/16/00
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"W. Top Changwatchai" <n...@spam.com> wrote:

> It looks even sillier capitalized as "DumpSter" which I believe
> I've seen on the actual trucks.

Ick.

> One of my favorite examples is of a new hire at Canon who talked about
> "xeroxing" some documents. The person was told that "around here, we prefer
> the term 'photocopy.'"

I associate "xeroxing" with those old mimeograph machines that used
the purple ink when I was in elementary school. Photocopying is a
newer technology that produces better results.

> Anyway, isn't there a point at which some trademarked names are considered
> to be so common that they can legally be used as common nouns?

IANAL, but if so I don't know about it. The closest ones I know
about are he ones with no synonym, such as Klenex. In spoken
English, I don't know of any other term for them. Certainly
people don't generally call them "facial tissues" (which, if
you look closely, is what is printed on the box). That sounds
hideous. Occasionally people call them "Puffs" (which is the
only other brand of klen^H^H^H^Hfacial tissues anybody really
buys much, as far as I know), but not generally. Generally
everybody I know calls them "klenex" in spoken English. But
it's still a trademark, and you still can't call your product
that, and if you refer to them in a published work your editors
and lawyers will still nag you to capitalise it.

Frankly, this isn't helping Klenex, and they probably
ought to let it go. Their advertising benefits all
the other brands as much as it benefits them, because
NOBODY hears the word "Klenex" and thinks of that
brand specifically, except maybe their own employees.
If I were making their advertising decisions I'd
*change* the brand name and fire up a revamped ad
campaign. (Actually, I might keep the Klenex brand
name but add an adjective on the front -- Sophtex
Klenex or some such, only hopefully something that
doesn't sound quite as silly as that.)

> I'm thinking specifically of "aspirin." And down south (uh, American
> South), "coke" is a generic term:
>
> Patron: "I'd like a coke, please."
> Waiter: "What kind?"
> Patron: "Gimme a Pepsi."

Or, in Atlanta:

Patron: Gimme a Pepsi.
Waiter: What's that?
Patron: It's like a Coke, but different.
Waiter: You mean Sprite?
Patron: No, it's made by a different company.
Waiter: Oh, Dr. Pepper.

Joe Mason

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Sep 16, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/16/00
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Jonadab the Unsightly One <jon...@bright.net> wrote:
>IANAL, but if so I don't know about it. The closest ones I know
>about are he ones with no synonym, such as Klenex. In spoken
>English, I don't know of any other term for them. Certainly
>people don't generally call them "facial tissues" (which, if
>you look closely, is what is printed on the box). That sounds

A British friend of my mother's always used to call them just "tissues" (not
"facial").

>hideous. Occasionally people call them "Puffs" (which is the
>only other brand of klen^H^H^H^Hfacial tissues anybody really
>buys much, as far as I know), but not generally. Generally

Never heard of them. I thought there were a ton of generic brand tissues. I
just checked, and the ones I have are "Scotties".

>Frankly, this isn't helping Klenex, and they probably

BTW, isn't it "Kleenex"?

Joe

Damien Neil

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Sep 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/17/00
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On Sat, 16 Sep 2000 10:05:28 GMT,
Jonadab the Unsightly One <jon...@bright.net> wrote:
>Frankly, this isn't helping Klenex, and they probably
>ought to let it go. Their advertising benefits all
>the other brands as much as it benefits them, because
>NOBODY hears the word "Klenex" and thinks of that
>brand specifically, except maybe their own employees.

Actually, this does benefit them.

"I'm going to the store. Do you need anything?"
"Pick up some kleenex, we're out."

The person going to the store has now been primed with the thought that
he's looking for "kleenex", not generic facial tissues. When he sees
two boxes, one labelled "Kleenex" and one labelled "Puffs", there's a
bit of confusion as to whether he was being asked to get Kleenex or
kleenex, and he's that much more likely to go with the Kleenex.

The point of advertising common items like facial tissue is to build
brand awareness. Most companies would kill for awareness at the level
Kleenex has. If they allow the word to lose its trademark (which could
happen, if their lawyers stopped bugging editors about the capitalization),
their competitors could release "Kleenex Puffs" and steal that brand
recognition. They'd be left trying to build up awareness from scratch
for a new brand -- no easy task.

I'm not nuts about the way the system works, but it does have a logic to
it. Names have power and value.

Story idea: How do True Names interact with trademarks? Is "Kleenex" the
True Name of facial tissue? Can the demon you summon sue you for
infringement on the trademark he holds on his name?

- Damien

BrenBarn

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Sep 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/17/00
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>Story idea: How do True Names interact with trademarks? Is "Kleenex" the
>True Name of facial tissue? Can the demon you summon sue you for
>infringement on the trademark he holds on his name?

Maybe we could adapt this to an IF game. .

>GET kLEENEX
[ *** Error: Copyright violation at address E086:67B5 *** ]

>GET TISSUE
Which tissue do you mean, the facial tissue (unscented), the pine-scented
facial tissue, the toilet tissue, the scar tissue, the brain tissue, or the
lemon-scented two-ply tissue?

>ANYTHING BUT THE BRAIN
I didn't understand that sentence.

>GET KLEENEX
Which do you mean, the Kleenex or the Puffs?
--BrenBarn (Bren...@aol.com)
(Name in header has spam-blocker, use the address above instead.)

"Do not follow where the path may lead;
go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail."
--Author Unknown

Matthew T. Russotto

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Sep 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/17/00
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In article <39c21adf...@news.bright.net>,

Jonadab the Unsightly One <jon...@bright.net> wrote:
}"W. Top Changwatchai" <n...@spam.com> wrote:
}
}> It looks even sillier capitalized as "DumpSter" which I believe
}> I've seen on the actual trucks.
}
}Ick.
}
}> One of my favorite examples is of a new hire at Canon who talked about
}> "xeroxing" some documents. The person was told that "around here, we prefer
}> the term 'photocopy.'"
}
}I associate "xeroxing" with those old mimeograph machines that used
}the purple ink when I was in elementary school.

Those weren't Xerox of any sort. Those are mimeographs or "dittos".

}Photocopying is a newer technology that produces better results.

}IANAL, but if so I don't know about it. The closest ones I know


}about are he ones with no synonym, such as Klenex. In spoken
}English, I don't know of any other term for them. Certainly
}people don't generally call them "facial tissues" (which, if
}you look closely, is what is printed on the box).

Just plain "tissues".
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

W. Top Changwatchai

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Sep 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/17/00
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Damien Neil <ne...@centauri.org> wrote in message
news:8q1u3...@news2.newsguy.com...

> Story idea: How do True Names interact with trademarks? Is "Kleenex" the
> True Name of facial tissue? Can the demon you summon sue you for
> infringement on the trademark he holds on his name?

An excellent short story by Jack Vance called "The Miracle Workers" touches
on this very idea (it's in the "Green Magic" collection). Mild spoilers
ahead...


S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

First, the story plays with the conventions of magic and technology.
Technology and the experimental method are viewed as superstitious nonsense,
whereas magic and hoodoo form the "hard" sciences. Anyway, one thing the
best magicians are able to do is to create a "demon" presence through
sympathetic magic and people's belief in this magic. Unless your demon is
publicized and its traits well-known, people won't fall prey to its power.
But as more people know about it, the more its power grows until it exists
as an independent entity. These "public" demons can then be traded between
magicians as commodities.

Richard Bos

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Sep 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/18/00
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jon...@bright.net (Jonadab the Unsightly One) wrote:

> The bad thing is, sometimes there's no reasonable synonym.
> Thermos, for example, AFAICT has no generic term unless you
> want to just *describe* it

"Dewar flask". But hardly anybody but a physicist would know that name.

> like English muffin? Then again, french fries aren't...

What McDickies call french fries don't _deserve_ capitals.

Richard

W. Top Changwatchai

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Sep 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/18/00
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Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote in message
news:39c5dd7f....@news.worldonline.nl...

> > like English muffin? Then again, french fries aren't...
>
> What McDickies call french fries don't _deserve_ capitals.
>
> Richard

Are you talking about McDonald's (tm)? I haven't eaten there in a long
time, but from what I recall, the fries were the only thing that were any
good. Way superior to the ones from any of the other fast-food chains.
(Unless you let em sit for five minutes, whereupon they got cold, limp, and
disgusting.)

Top

PS My dictionary (American Heritage) capitalizes "French fries." I don't,
however.

PPS Don't you love the different names some restaurants use for french
fries? My favorite is "home fries." Ah yes, brings back memories of when
the whole family would gather 'round the fireplace, telling stories and
eating home fries.

"You say you want french fries? Do you want fries with that?" Ryan Stiles,
from "Whose Line is it Anyway?"

Richard Bos

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Sep 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/18/00
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"W. Top Changwatchai" <n...@spam.com> wrote:

> Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote in message
> news:39c5dd7f....@news.worldonline.nl...
> > > like English muffin? Then again, french fries aren't...
> >
> > What McDickies call french fries don't _deserve_ capitals.
>

> Are you talking about McDonald's (tm)?

Yes (R).

> I haven't eaten there in a long time, but from what I recall,
> the fries were the only thing that were any
> good. Way superior to the ones from any of the other fast-food chains.

Tch. That doesn't say much. Too small, not crispy enough, too much crust
and not enough meat. Cheapskates.

> (Unless you let em sit for five minutes, whereupon they got cold, limp, and
> disgusting.)

That's exactly what I mean. I don't like having to scoff all my food
within five minutes.

Richard

Muffy St. Bernard

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Sep 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/18/00
to

> That's exactly what I mean. I don't like having to scoff all my food
> within five minutes.
>
> Richard

Isn't that one of the reasons why it's called "fast food?" Also, you
need to eat it fast, because you want to get the heck out of there
before some kid pees on you.
The only things I will eat at McDonalds are the Egg McMuffins & hash
browns (guilty pleasures). Their actual meat, however...well, it gives
me the willies.
When I was 12, our class got a tour of Schneiders (a local, prominent
meat processing plant). Besides the guy who was gutting chickens who
told us all to "finish our educations and get good jobs," the most
memorable part of the trip was the chicken bin room.
In a big white room, there were huge wheeled bins. Each bin had the
logo for a prominent fast food chain on it. Inside the "Wendys" bin,
the chickens had been pretty much reduced to white slabs of meat. In
the "Burger King" bin, there were some organs and things, along with the
meat.
Inside the "McDonalds" bin, however, there were entire chickens.
They'd taken out some of the organs, and removed the feathers, but
otherwise they were just chickens. Should I describe this further?
Maybe not. But the tour guide quipped "Chicken McNuggets have more
right to taste like the entire chicken than any other chicken product."
And he gave us kids a gross wink.
Sometimes in life you have a turning point. This was one of them. I
will not eat Chicken McNuggets. The thought of eating beak makes me
feel sick.
(This is not meant to start a discussion about how unsanity meat is in
general...I know, I know, I've seen the videos, I've heard the stories,
all excellent points. Also keep in mind that this story is "what I
remember." When you're 12, sometimes you get things mixed up, so if I
have made some glaring mistake or misrepresentation...well, Schneiders
was a pretty scary and overwhelming place to begin with).

Muffy McNothin'

Stephen Granade

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Sep 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/18/00
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in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl (Richard Bos) writes:

> "W. Top Changwatchai" <n...@spam.com> wrote:
>
> > Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote in message
> > news:39c5dd7f....@news.worldonline.nl...
> > > > like English muffin? Then again, french fries aren't...
> > >
> > > What McDickies call french fries don't _deserve_ capitals.
> >
> > Are you talking about McDonald's (tm)?
>
> Yes (R).
>
> > I haven't eaten there in a long time, but from what I recall,
> > the fries were the only thing that were any
> > good. Way superior to the ones from any of the other fast-food chains.
>
> Tch. That doesn't say much. Too small, not crispy enough, too much crust
> and not enough meat. Cheapskates.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I believe I've discovered why you dislike fast food French fries....

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Visit About Interactive Fiction
Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.about.com

David Given

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Sep 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/20/00
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In article <39c2183c...@news.bright.net>,
jon...@bright.net (Jonadab the Unsightly One) writes:
[...]

>> (Every one of these appeared in my manuscript and was pounced upon
>> by my editors. I personally think "Dumpster" looks silly, but the
>> lawyers don't really care what I think.)

We call 'em skips.

> The bad thing is, sometimes there's no reasonable synonym.
> Thermos, for example, AFAICT has no generic term unless you

> want to just *describe* it ("insulated beverage container
> that matches the lunch box"). You might be able to get
> away with a footnote, although in IF that's awkward.

Vacuum flask.

--
+- David Given ---------------McQ-+ "The cup of Ireland's misfortunes has been
| Work: d...@tao-group.com | overflowing for centuries, and it is not
| Play: dgi...@iname.com | full yet." --- Sir Boyle Roche
+- http://wired.st-and.ac.uk/~dg -+

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Sep 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/21/00
to
d...@pearl.tao.co.uk (David Given) wrote:

> Vacuum flask.

If I read the term "vacuum flask", I'm going to imagine
something out of a chemlab, not something out of a lunchbox.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Sep 24, 2000, 9:37:44 PM9/24/00
to
"W. Top Changwatchai" <n...@spam.com> wrote:

> Are you talking about McDonald's (tm)? I haven't eaten there in a long


> time, but from what I recall, the fries were the only thing that were any
> good. Way superior to the ones from any of the other fast-food chains.

My sister always insists that McD fries used to be way better
than all other fries, until they changed their oil to be
healthier sometime in the late eighties or early nineties.
Not being a fan of fries, I couldn't say one way or the other.

> (Unless you let em sit for five minutes,

Cold fries are right up there with hard tack, deep fried
Twinkies(TM), and chocolate-covered bacon. You can feel
your arteries clogging just looking at 'em.

> PPS Don't you love the different names some restaurants use for french
> fries? My favorite is "home fries." Ah yes, brings back memories of when
> the whole family would gather 'round the fireplace, telling stories and
> eating home fries.

"Home fries", last I knew, was another term for hash browns --
not the silly things fast food places call hash browns, but
real potatoes cut into french-fry SHAPED pieces, but much
smaller, and fried in a skillet until brown on one side, then
flipped and fried until the other side is brown as well.
They're crunchy, but the middle is soft because you always
fry enough that they don't all touch the skillet. You eat
them on a plate with ketchup and a fork, and usually a side
of fried eggs if you're into that sort of thing. We only
ever had them occasionally, because we were usually
small-breakfast people, selecting cereal or toast. But I've
known a number people whose tradition was to eat a big
breakfast, and "home fries" or "hash browns" were a common
thing for them.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Sep 24, 2000, 9:37:45 PM9/24/00
to
"Muffy St. Bernard" <muffy...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> The only things I will eat at McDonalds are the Egg McMuffins & hash
> browns (guilty pleasures). Their actual meat, however...well, it gives
> me the willies.

[snip]

I used to work at McDonald's. Want me to tell you about
the Egg McMuffins? [wink]

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