Pronouncing ®©™℠, or registered trademark – copyright symbol – trademark – service mark

Posted by lec** on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 01:22:46 GMT        
A Rubber Duck®©™℠ series

It recently occurred to me how stupid legal-related things are. For example, the whole “I own this, no you may not, it doesn't matter what you were about to ask” attitude corporate lawyers have. That, and the closely-related affixing of various symbols like ® after any term that is closely related to the (perhaps not) aforementioned product.

In light of this revelation, I created a string of the four legal symbols I know of, ® (registered trademark), © (copyright symbol), ™ (trademark) and ℠(service mark) glued together to form “®©™℠”. Now, whenever I wish to exaggerate the fact that I consider something (usually something I've thought up) my own, special, original and otherwise foreign to contemporary man, I simply affix this string of symbols after it, which ensures total and completely impenetrable protection against anyone copying the idea, or using it as a base for some derivative of it.

To strengthen the point, the product or idea must be trivial or near-trivial. For example, take some of these products that I have recently protected with ®©™℠:

That's all fine, but how do you read this chain of symbolic nonsense? Let me put it this way, have you ever wondered how you read just “®”? Perhaps you don't read it, as in Coca Cola® being read simply as “Coca Cola”. This is in fact incorrect, because if the ® symbol's presence is required in written text, it must be read also, or your audience may mistakenly get the impression that the Coca Cola brand name isn't a registered trademark, which could have catastrophic consequences. To avoid such embarrassingly uncomfortable scenarios, it is imperative that the fact that Coca Cola is a registered trademark be impressed upon your listeners.

Saying “Coca Cola, which is a registered trademark” is rather long-winded. Modern users require a shorthand for this, and my department (LEPAK of the LLS institute) has developed a way of verbally marking the presence of a registered trademark symbol. The pronunciation is as follows: “r” as the “r” sound in “road”. If the language you are speaking is not English, you may pronounce the “r” as you would in your language (except if that language is French or German, in which case you must not produce that throaty excuse of a pronunciation). Finally, while speaking it, you must draw a small circle in the air with the index finger of the hand of your dominant arm, which will indicate to the audience that the “r” belongs “in a circle” and concordantly eliminates the need to say “r in a small circle”.

In similar fashion, © is read as “ts” (not “see”) and a circle must be gesticulated. ™ is read simply as “tee-em” in English or “tum” with a half-pronounced “u” (recommended). The service mark symbol is pronounced in the same way, except with an “s” sound instead of a “t” sound. These two do not require any concurrent gesticulation on the part of the speaker.

When you put this together, you end up with something like “rtstmsm” (read like “rehts tumsum”). The accent is on the first syllable, so “REHTStumsum” is what it sounds like. Try trilling the “r” if you can. Also, you need to quickly draw two small circles in the air, next to one another, which represent the little circles around ® and ©.

Katie K., a researcher who has done some work on this has asserted that “ristamasism” is the most practical way of pronouncing and remembering the pronunciation. Also, ristamasism has become accepted in certain circles as a term describing the use of ®©™℠ and similar legal garble.

Merely pronouncing it correctly is just the first step though. The tonal and dynamic parameters of your voice while speaking the symbols is perhaps even more important. They have to be read quietly. It's no use saying them as loudly as the rest of the sentence, because you'll only end up sounding like the uneducated bum you are you aren't familiar with legal terms.

If you are shouting and you want to say the symbols, you need to lower your voice to something lower than normal speaking volume. If you are speaking at some standard volume, you need to drop down to something just louder than a mumble. Your audience needs to catch what you are saying, but not focus on it. If you've ever seen those adverts where you are shown some new drug or other pharmaceutical product, and then you hear a male voice speaking really quickly warning you about the potential dangers of it, that's close to what you should be aiming for.

With enough practice, you should be able to become good enough to safely speak the symbols at any event, whether reading to your children before bedtime, or even singing your part in an opera. Also, as noted by another researcher, Matej G., upon finally reading ®©™℠ correctly, it is possible you will be overcome with laughter, for it sounds pretty humorous if executed well.

An educational video on pronouncing ®©™℠should be available shortly, to aid you in mastering this somewhat complex and rather problematic problem.


SpaceMan's avatar
Aug 28 2009 @ 04:29:08
Trying to transliterate them to romaji...
ri, shi (the

Kat's avatar
Jul 17 2009 @ 05:26:26

Pikachu's avatar
Jul 15 2009 @ 04:03:28
*lowers voice* Ristamasism *raises voice* sounds like a medicine. Now should we use it or not?
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