Can You Trademark a Common Word? Court Says No

Can You Trademark a Common Word? Court Says No

A romance writer cocky enough to trademark the word “cocky” lost her bid to stop other writers from using the word in book titles.  The U.S. District Court for Southern New York has ruled in favor of the Authors Guild and the Romance Writers of America (RWA) in asserting the principle that nobody should own exclusive rights to use a common word in book and series titles.

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In Praise of the Lowly Comma

In Praise of the Lowly Comma

One tiny comma can sometimes make all the difference when it comes to the meaning of a sentence or a contract for that matter. Strunk and White advocated for the Oxford comma in their classic book, “The Elements of Style,” while the AP Stylebook doesn’t require series comma. If you’re an Oxford-comma proponent like me, a recent federal court ruling will reinforce your position. The following articles will help make my case on the importance of the lowly comma.

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Did You Know? How “Red Herring” Originated

Did You Know? How “Red Herring” Originated

Dashiell Hammett’s seminal detective novel, “The Maltese Falcon,” opens with the mysterious Miss Wonderly hiring private eye Sam Spade and his partner, Miles Archer, to follow a man who eloped with her sister. It’s a classic red herring. Readers of mysteries, crime fiction, and suspense novels love red herrings, but where did the term originate?

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Do We Really Need the Oxford Comma? A Federal Court Says Yes

Do We Really Need the Oxford Comma? A Federal Court Says Yes

If you don’t think the Oxford comma is necessary, a federal court’s recent decision will tell you otherwise. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of delivery drivers who claimed they were eligible for overtime pay under Maine’s regulations. Their argument relied on the absence of a serial comma in the law.

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