Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board


Why is it the programmers put little trademark symbols after everything?

I searched for the word "tm" on the fogcreek forums, and here's what I found:

Here are some examples I've found (just by glancing at the results for a few minutes):

Good (tm)
Bad (tm)
the Right Way (tm)
a Good Thing (tm)
a Very Good Thing (tm)
Very Bad (tm)
a Very Very Bad Thing (tm)
a Bad Idea (tm)
_______ is Your Friend (tm)
a Real Programmer (tm)
Design Methodology (tm)
The Ultimate Evil (tm)
Bathroom Epiphany (tm)
Angry Coders (tm)
Real Life (tm)
a Big Deal (tm)
Little Doohickeys (tm)
Real Applications (tm)
nifty (tm)

And there are lots and lots more. What's the deal? Am I mistaken in thinking this is incredibly corny?

When I read that someone has said "Curly braces are A Good Thing (tm)", it immediately makes me roll my eyes. It's like someone thinking that puns are still funny jokes.

Am I the only one annoyed?

Benji Smith
Monday, June 28, 2004

Methinks a Real Programmer (tm) would find it Nifty (tm). This is A Good Thing (tm).

Monday, June 28, 2004


Philo, All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 28, 2004

It's probably equivalent to writing in all caps for emphasis, which SOME people think is VERY irritating, while others think it might be appropriate in some instances.

Personally, I find putting a trademark (tm) on generic phrases kind of pointless -- but then, I'm one of those irritating people who write in all caps for emphasis, so what do I know.

Recently, I saw somebody use asterisks as they *emphasized* something, and it hit me as funny and effective.  Also, we keep talking about 'Big-M Methodologies' -- but I don't think a (tm) would add anything to that discussion, either.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Same category as finger quotes, spelling flames and any general affectations or pretention.  Extraneous crap (TM).

What's Data anyway?

Monday, June 28, 2004

IMHO, it's simply meant as humor. I think I've seen it most on "and that would be a Good Thing(tm)" - I've always seen that as meant to evoke Martha Stewart, and therefore the point that maybe "good thing" is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. In other words, the feeling that "hey, it's not just good, it's great. In fact, it can cure cancer and make your daughters virgins again!"


Monday, June 28, 2004

Check out

for a list of idiotic registrations.

Fire is a trademark? At least it isn't patented.

Monday, June 28, 2004

I've been a *big* fan of using the asterisks for years... they are what you might call a Good Thing(tm).

Greg Hurlman
Monday, June 28, 2004

As long as  u don't START 2 use h4ck3r or speak or UPPER TO EMPHASIS EVERYTHING, it's all fine.

Mauricio Macedo
Monday, June 28, 2004

Surely that should be 'h4xx0r' :)

Monday, June 28, 2004

"hey, it's not just good, it's great"

No Philo, it's *AWESOME* (tm)

Tom H
Monday, June 28, 2004

Well, Mr. Spolsky, in his *INFINITELY LARGE EGO* has decided that a forum that only permits unformatted plain text is `A Good Thing`(tm).  As a result, people must resort to various other methods when they want to *EMPHASIZE* a particular point.

Made Up Name
Monday, June 28, 2004

Also known as "ASCII was good enough for ARPANet, it's good enough for me"


Monday, June 28, 2004

Yeah, I draw the line a l33t sp34k.  And I know that emphasis is very easily over-used, so only a single word here or there makes sense.

Unless I've been drinking, of course.

BTW, I think this is one of the 'classic' funny threads.  The haxxor line was great.

Monday, June 28, 2004

"Good Thing" a Martha Stewart reference?  Hardly - it's a reference to _1066 and All That_, a classic spoof history book.

Guthlac Hendrikkson
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home