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Something important to elementary and for elementary OS is our branding. For a quick reference:

  • "elementary" is the name of the company. It is never capitalized. Refer to "elementary" when you're talking about the company itself or the developers. Think of "elementary" as the group of people.

  • "elementary OS" is the name of an elementary product. "OS" should be capitalized as it stands for "operating system". The company name is still not capitalized. There is a space between the company name and the product name. When referring to the product, always use "elementary OS" and not "elementary".

  • "eos" is the name of a line of beauty products or Canon cameras. We don't consider this an acceptable way to refer to elementary OS. This is especially important in not encouraging 3rd parties to make brands such as "eRadio" or "eCleaner".

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    You have a fair point, but I would (personally) disagree - mainly the lack of capitalisation. I always like to capitalise the names of things, like Ubuntu, Python, Javascript etc. Is that also acceptable? – user3 Jun 30 '15 at 19:46
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    Agreed 100%. @Tim it's about maintaining the brand, not capitalizing the name is one of the things that differentiate elementary OS. It really costs you nothing and it makes the devs happy, so why not do it :)? – Gabriel Jun 30 '15 at 20:02
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    @Gabriel I'm not sure about branding guidelines on an independent site, and as I said, in English, proper nouns are capitalised. I'll go with the decision, but I'd rather we could use either. – user3 Jun 30 '15 at 20:03
  • @Tim well nobody can force you to not capitalize the name as the branding guidelines require. Other than politely asking you to do it (and possibly editing questions to show a lower capital e, as I have with a few by now) there's not much that can be done. – Gabriel Jun 30 '15 at 20:06
  • @Gabriel yeah as I said I'm not going to make a fuss about it, I'd just rather they were open to either. – user3 Jun 30 '15 at 20:13
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    Yeah my thing was more about just setting the convention early as something for editors to do. Obviously you can't force a person to do something, but if you're making a grammar edit, might as well fix the branding stuff – Daniel Foré Jun 30 '15 at 20:55
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    For example: iPhone is normally not capitalized in English. Also Wikipedia generally "respects" the spelling of brand names. – quassy Jun 30 '15 at 22:33
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    For sure; if we're going to want to promote this as our official support channel, we should follow our own internal branding guidelines, as laid out here blog.elementary.io/post/107640994166/… – Cassidy James Jul 8 '15 at 18:04
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There is actually a good point here. However, I wonder if we'd be getting into murky waters. For example:

  • "Nvidia GTS 450" as "NVIDIA® GeForce GTS 450"

  • "Intel i7" as "Intel® Core™ i7 Processor".

  • "Aspire S7" as "Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook™"

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    Technically, it is against legal guidelines for anyone but the owner of a trademark to use the ™ symbol next to it, unless licensed to do so. The ® mark is optional for all users, but encouraged for the owners only. If you drop those marks, then I actually find it more readable. Someone may not know that an "Aspire" is an Acer laptop, or than a Nvidia GTS is a GeForce card. – Lewis Goddard Jul 2 '15 at 18:35
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    Those are partner branding guidelines, as in people and companies in a legal relationship with Nvidia. They do not, and should not, apply to us. – Lewis Goddard Jul 2 '15 at 18:37
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I don't think this proposal is entirely feasible.

  1. The lowercase "elementary" is confusing to readers since Elementary OS is a proper noun. Readers use capitalized letters to distinguish unique entities from common text. Journalists who write about the OS use style guides that will automatically capitalize Elementary for this reason: readability. (See the Wikipedia article to see how much easier it is to read mid-sentence.) It's fine to have "elementary" lowercase for branding materials and PR documents, but there's a reason why writers will not use the stylization so let's not enforce counter to that, especially on tech support questions.

  2. "elementary OS" is long. I get the anti-"eOS" rationale but then what is the alternative? (Something like e9os, a numeronym like l10n, might be a useful shorthand here and would make search easier.)

The urge to standardize can be desirable but I don't see how it would be for the best in this case.

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