Trademark/Copyright: Trademarks II

March 24, 2005: Issue 84

For non-Meredith products, generic terms are best. If you use a trademarked name, simply capitalize it—no quotation marks, no italics, no ™ or ®. For clarity, you might need a generic noun.
incorrect: Liquid Nails®
acceptable: Liquid Nails
better: Liquid Nails building materials adhesive
preferred: building materials adhesive

For more information on trademarks, see the Trademarks section of

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Trademark/Copyright: Trademarks I

March 17, 2005: Issue 83

SIM Style: Trademark Training, Part One

We use ™ or ® on Meredith products but no others. Use ™ or ® the first time a title is mentioned in body copy; omit it in later references, in headlines, and in mailing addresses. (In editor’s letters, however, put the ™ or ® in the reference under the editor’s signature, rather than in body copy.)

The ™ notation means we are seeking or plan to seek trademark protection for that title. The ® notation means trademark protection has been granted.

Better Homes and Gardens gets the ® notation. Italicize the words when referring to the magazine, but not when referring to the brand.
correct: an article in the May 2004 Better Homes and Gardens®
correct: Better Homes and Gardens® products

To type ™, hit Option 2. To type ®, hit Option r.

Next week, we’ll discuss how to handle non-Meredith trademarks.

For more information on trademarks, see Trademarks section of the SIM Stylebook.

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Trademark/Copyright: Copyright date

November 14, 2002: Issue 43

SIM STYLE: Happy new year!
All SIPs currently in production go on sale in 2003. That means it’s time once again to double check the copyright date on the TOC of your next issue.

GRAMMAR: Know what’s essential
When we looked at the difference between “like” and “such as” last time, we used the following examples.
correct: They included amenities such as a whirlpool bath, a radiant-heat floor, and towel warmers.
correct: Traditional plant combinations, such as delphiniums and roses, helped them achieve the cottage-garden look.

You’ll notice that one “such as” phrase is set off by commas but the other isn’t.
• Essential phrases are not set off by commas. In the bath example, the “such as” phrase is critical to the meaning of the sentence; without it, we wouldn’t know whatkinds of amenities the couple included.
• Nonessential phrases are set off by commas. In the garden example, the “such as” phrase is not critical in understanding the sentence; without it, we would still know that to achieve a cottage-garden look, the couple chose traditional plant combinations.

Tip: If an adjective precedes the subject, as in the second example above, we already know some additional information about the subject. In most cases, the descriptor that follows is likely a nonessential phrase. Look at how adding an adjective changes the phrase in the first example from essential to nonessential.
correct: They included spalike amenities, such as a whirlpool bath, a radiant-heat floor, and towel warmers.

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Subjunctive Mood: Subjunctive mood II

October 10, 2002: Issue 39

SIM STYLE: Should I use figures or words for numbers in lists and text boxes?
SIM style on numbers applies regardless of where they appear in copy. Write out numbers zero through nine, and use figures for numbers 10 and above. Use figures for all numbers that represent a unit of measure.

Materials List
• One 2×2, 8 feet long
• Four 1x2s, 8 feet long
• 36 galvanized deck screws
Note: Always use figures in headlines.
Note: In charts, figures can sometimes be used to save space. Consult your lead CE.

For more information, see Numbers section in the SIM Stylebook or Issue 59.

GRAMMAR: Let it be: subjunctive mood, part II
Last week we looked at some common uses of subjunctive mood. This week, we look at a less obvious one—suggestive language. Anytime someone suggests, demands, or requests something, English shifts into the subjunctive, but this time “was” and “were” become “be.” Think of it as the command form of the verb. (BE good! BE on time! BE quiet!)
incorrect: The inspector required that the wiring was updated.
correct: The inspector required that the wiring be updated. Other verbs used in suggestives shift to their command forms, as well.

correct: The designer insisted they BUY the sofa.
correct: They demanded the architect FINISH the project.

Tip: If you’ve got the right verb form, the word “should” would sound perfectly natural in front of it.
correct: She suggested I (should) LEAVE.

Subjunctive mood can be a hard concept to grasp. And in practice, we usually get it right without thinking about it. But when you encounter a sentence that just doesn’t sound quite right, ask yourself whether it’s expressing a conditional thought or a wish, regret, or demand. If the answer is yes, check the verb form; it’s likely the culprit.

For more information, see Issue 38.

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Subjunctive Mood: Subjunctive mood I

October 3, 2002: Issue 38

SIM STYLE: How do I handle dimensions in copy?
Use figures and the dimension X (command-shift-Q followed by option-Y) to avoid cumbersome descriptions. In general, list width by length, then depth if needed. See the following examples.
incorrect: At 12 feet wide by 15 feet long, the living room felt cramped.
correct: The 12×15-foot living room felt cramped.
correct: At just 38×100 feet, the narrow lot presented design challenges.
correct: The figurine is 4x6x10 inches.

GRAMMAR: Coulda, woulda, shoulda: subjunctive mood, part I
Feeling wistful and wishful? Or perhaps doubtful and regretful? The English language changes ever so slightly when we begin speaking of improbabilities or things contrary to fact. It’s called the subjunctive mood, when “was” changes to “were,” often in tandem with “could,” “would,” or “should.”

Subjunctive mood is easy to recognize, but deciding when its use is appropriate can sometimes be a challenge. If the answer to one of these questions is yes, subjunctive mood is usually correct:
Does the statement express a wish?
• They wish the remodeling were (not was) complete.
• If only it were (not was) possible to fly, I would be there sooner. Does the statement express a doubt?
• I doubt I could (not can) complete the project without help. Is the statement conditional?
• If I were (not was) you, I would choose a different paint color.
• If the architect were given free rein, we would be living in a glass house.
Not all conditional statements call for subjunctive mood, however. If there is a reasonable chance the statement may be true or still may come true, it’s best to leave it in indicative mood.
• If he was (not were) there, I didn’t see him. (He might have been there.)
• If he gets (not were to get) a Christmas bonus, as expected, he will (not would) install a pool.

For more information, see Issue 39.

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Spelling: Who’s/whose

May 16, 2002: Issue 23

SIM STYLE: When do I capitalize directions?
When a direction is part of a word or phrase that refers to a widely recognized geographic region, capitalize it. (In some cases, this is an exception to Words Into Type.) Otherwise, directions are generally lowercase.
correct:  They lived in the Southwest for years.
correct: Their vacation home lies 60 miles southwest of Phoenix.
correct: They live in Southern California.
correct: They vacation in southern Iowa.
correct: They visited the South of France.
correct: They traveled south from Paris.

Here are some other correctly capitalized regions we run into frequently: the Northwest, the West, the South, the Deep South, the Southeast, the Northeast, back East, Down East, the Eastern Shore, the Midwest, West Texas, the West Coast, the East Coast, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Mideast, Southeast Asia, the Far East (sometimes just the East, if context is clear), and the Northern (Southern, Eastern, or Western) Hemisphere.

GRAMMAR: I always mix up “who’s” and “whose.” What’s the difference?
“Who’s” is the contraction of “who is” or “who has.” “Whose” is the possessive pronoun.
correct: Who’s that nervous-looking guy standing outside the courtroom?
correct: He’s the architect whose building collapsed.

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Spelling: Snugly/snuggly

March 27, 2003: Issue 54

SIM STYLE: Why are some editors and designers listed on mastheads as “contributing”?
Anyone who works on an issue but is not a full-time, permanent SIM staffer
should be listed on the masthead as “contributing.”
correct: Contributing editor Jody Garlock
correct: Contributing designer Karla Knipper
correct: Contributing copy editor Jennifer Speer Ramundt
correct: Contributing illustrator Carson Ode

GRAMMAR: “Snugly” versus “snuggly”
These two are often confused, usually leading to unintentionally humorous sentences.
• Snugly is an adverb derived from the word “snug” meaning “in a snug manner.”
• Snuggly is an adjective derived from the word “snuggle” used to
describe something nice to snuggle with.
correct: The powder room tucks snugly between the kitchen and the den.
correct: Luxurious bedding and snuggly pillows provide resortlike

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Spelling: Palate/palette

March 20, 2003: issue 53

SIM STYLE: When do I put a period at the end of a resources line?
It’s pretty simple: If a resources line is a complete sentence, it gets a
period; if not, it doesn’t get one.
correct: For resources, see page 112.
correct: Resources begin on page 112.
correct: Resources on page 112

Note: This is generally the rule for any text that appears in SIPs (liftouts, decks, captions, etc.).

GRAMMAR: Palate, palette, pallet, pallette: What’s the difference?
These words look similar, but their meanings couldn’t be more different, making choosing the right word especially important.
• Palate refers to taste.
• A palette is an artist’s board or a range of colors.
• A pallet is a portable storage platform. It can also refer to a temporary bed.
• A pallette is a plate in a suit of armor.

Sure, but can I use them all in a sentence, you ask? Ye of little faith …
correct: “A palette of buttery yellows and creamy whites this year,” the artist said as she stepped atop the wooden pallet to finish sculpting her bovine creation, only to be distracted a short while later by a medieval knight running by in full armor—breastplate, pallettes, and all—having assuaged his palate for too long at the corndog stand and now making haste to the governor’s celebrity joust.

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Spelling: Discrete/discreet

December 13, 2001: Issue 3

SIM STYLE: When do I capitalize plant names in nongardening publications?
For common plant names (rose, daffodil, tulip, etc.), lowercase and set in Roman type. For genus names (Campanula, Lavandula, and other Latin-looking names), capitalize and set in Roman type. Some plants share common/Latin names (hosta, iris, petunia, etc.). In general, treat them as common names in nongardening
publications. Genus and species names used together (such as Prunus pendula) are treated the same way in all publications: Capitalize the genus (the first word), lowercase the species (the second word), and italicize the whole phrase.

For more information, see Plant Names Style section of the Garden section in the SIM stylebook.

GRAMMAR: Discrete meanings
They’re both adjectives, and they sound alike, but “discreet” and “discrete” have distinctly different meanings. Discreet means “modest” or “prudent.” Discrete means “separate.”
correct: Surrounded by grand columns and an expansive deck, the pool area offers a discrete outdoor living space.
correct: Partially shaded from view by a rose-covered trellis, the single French door offers a discreet entry to the master suite.

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Spelling: Desert/dessert

December 6, 2001: Issue 2

SIM STYLE: What’s our style on using brand names?
In general, we avoid using brand names. Instead, choose a more detailed but generic description. (Product stories are an obvious exception.)
incorrect: The IKEA sofa creates a lively focal point.
correct: A bright, contemporary sofa creates a lively focal point.

Be aware that some names that have made their way into the vernacular are actually trademarked brand names that should usually be avoided. Con-Tact paper, Crock Pot, Jacuzzi, Lycra, Plexiglas, Sheetrock, Spackle, Styrofoam, Thermos, and Velcro are just a few.
If you do use a trademarked name, be sure you’re using it correctly. It’s just as bad to call a generic product “Plexiglas” as it is to call the name brand “plexiglass.” Also, use trademark symbols (™ and ®) only with Meredith products.
For more information, including a list of trademarked names and suggested generic alternatives, see Trademarks.

GRAMMAR: The des(s)ert tray
If you skip dinner in favor of the double-chocolate cheesecake, you’re having “just dessert.” But if you eat a big dinner AND the cheesecake, and gain 5 pounds because of it, you’re getting what you deserve: your “just deserts” (pronounced, but not spelled, the same way).

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