EPUK Editorial Photographers United Kingdom and Ireland. The private mailing list and public resource for editorial photographers

Th*s H**dl*n* C*ns*r*d B* *d*b*

Recently some people have reached the conclusion that Adobe® are nothing but a Shower Of Greedy Bastards®. News that the latest version of the company’s flagship software – which cannot be named for legal reasons – is priced substantially higher in Europe than the USA has led to unkind accusations such as Rip-Off®. But there may be another reason. Perhaps Adobe® are Simply Bonkers® [patents pending].

Recently some people have reached the conclusion that Adobe® are nothing but a Shower Of Greedy Bastards®. News that the latest version of the company’s flagship software – which cannot be named for legal reasons – is priced substantially higher in Europe than the USA has led to unkind accusations such as Rip-Off®. But there may be another reason. Perhaps Adobe® are Simply Bonkers® [patents pending].

For Adobe® have decided that if there’s one word you can’t say in polite society or in front of lawyers, it’s ‘ph*t*sh*p’.

The problem is that both Adobe® and that, uh, other word are trademarks. As such they are delicate things and need protection. In particular they need protection from misuse of their actual titles. Like using them as a verb. Or forgetting to capitalise them. Or – EEEK!! – neglecting the trademark symbol. Because all of these things genericise the brand, therefore devaluing it.

Of course that’s just balls. Most sane people with an ounce of commercial sense agree that having a product that’s so successful it becomes the generic term for an entire industry is a good thing. But most sane people are not American corporate lawyers.

And so Adobe®, at doubtless considerable expense, have produced an extensive guide on how we should refer to their programme. That’s right: Adobe® think this is a programme so complex you don’t just need a manual to use it; you need a guide on how to pronounce it.

Needless to say, the guide having been produced by a bunch of suits who’ve never been below the 30th floor, it’s a little dry. So, using the Adobe® terms, here’s the EPUK Real World® guide on how to refer to the programme that dare not speak its name.

INCORRECT: Reuters photographer Adnan Haaj was fired for photoshopping extra smoke onto buildings that had been bombed by the Israeli Defence Forces.

CORRECT: When Reuters photographer Adnan Haaj decided to smoke a few buildings and torch his career he found the perfect solution in Adobe® Photoshop®.

INCORRECT: Some American photo editors were concerned that their readers might confuse a real tourniquet with an imaginary penis in a photograph from the Virginia Tech shootings. They therefore Photoshopped out the offending tourniquet that had saved the student’s life.

CORRECT: When American photo editors decided to make dicks of themselves by removing The Penis That Never Was they found that Adobe® Photoshop® was the ideal surgical tool.

INCORRECT: The latest version of PS is keenly priced, runs really fast, and is generally the dog’s bollocks.

CORRECT: Adobe® Photoshop CS3 Extended® is overpriced and as bloated as its name suggests. However Tesco PhotoRestyle does much the same stuff and costs £9.97, so I’ll pick that up with the pizza and 6-pack on the way home this evening.

Best of all was the fact that so eager were Adobe® to lecture the world that they neglected to clean house first. It was only when someone at corporate headquarters glanced out the window and noticed the gathering crowds pointing and laughing that Adobe® remembered to apply the rules to their own site.

Most adult corporations have long got used to the idea that a successful product may pass into everyday language and have learned to live with it. Consider a typical Friday night out in Anytown, UK:

I went out for the evening and hoovered® up 16 pints and a chicken curry. On the way back I staggered into a portakabin®; when I came to I was in casualty, but because of NHS cutbacks they were out of band-aid®, so they velcroed® the damage instead. When I got home I felt unwell, but I kleenexed® the mess on the carpet.

None of that is exactly what the companies had in mind in terms of free advertising when they launched their products, but what the heck. As Oscar Wilde said, there’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

By haranguing the world on the natural use of language Adobe® make themselves look ridiculous. Are we also supposed to refer to Adobe® Acrobat® with similar precision, so as not to confuse it with moustachioed trapeze artists wearing Spandex® who may bring the product into disrepute? It also makes a highly successful company look like a bunch of whinging losers: how big a bunch of losers you can see here.

Generic use of the term ‘Ph*t*sh*p’ is actually a compliment to Adobe®, albeit an inadvertent one which the company appears too churlish to accept. And if any of their not so learned friends had the benefit of a classical education they would know that the company’s trademarked name is itself a hijacking of an ancient generic word. This from Wikipedia:

Adobe ‘is made of clay mixed with water and an organic material such as straw or animal dung.’

Says it all really.


Sqweegee’s Blog® Terms and Conditions.
Proper use of the Sqeegee trademark
Trademarks help protect corporate and product identity, and Sqweegee is one of EPUK’s most valuable trademarks. By following the below guidelines, you can help EPUK protect the Sqweegee brand name.

INCORRECT: That stupid EPUK dog takes the piss out of Adobe® this week.

CORRECT: Sqweegee® takes a bite out of Adobe’s® ass on the EPUK blog this week.

INCORRECT: Adobe® got sqweegeed at EPUK this week.

CORRECT: EPUK’s Sqweegee® lifted his leg to Adobe® this week.

EPUK is discussing:

Copyright infringements and how to manage them DACS Payback'Crafted in Britain' by Rob Scott Photographing in public places - where/when/is it allowed?

What is EPUK?

EPUK is an email group for professional editorial photographers who want to talk business. We don’t do techie stuff or in-crowd gossip. We don’t talk cameras or computers. What we talk about are the nuts and bolts of being in business - like copyright, licensing, fees and insurance.

Donate to EPUK

EPUK is run on a not-for-profit basis, funded solely by advertising, donations and hosting other lists. You can make a donation to EPUK through Paypal here:

Donate Now with PayPal

Site content is © original authors. To reproduce any content on this website, contact editor@epuk.org who will put you in touch with the copyright holder. You can read our privacy policy. Any advice given on this site is not intended to replace professional advice, and EPUK and its authors accept no liability for loss or damage arising from any errors or omissions. EPUK is not responsible for third party content, such as epuk.org adverts, other websites linked to from epuk.org, or comments added to articles by visitors.