iPhone, eBay, etc. as first word of sentence

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frogboxer

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Without a recast, do we cap or lower-case 'iPhone', 'eBay' etc. when they start a sentence?

iPhones are the most popular smart phones on the planet.

eBay advertised some nice products last week.

Or:

IPhones ...

EBay ...

Thanks

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iannou

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Override your word processor. iPad, eBay, iTouch, etc are trade names and the usual rules of capitalization do not apply. They should not be altered.
 

emsr2d2

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As they are brand names, leave the lower case letter at the beginning of the brand name, even at the beginning of a sentence.
 

SoothingDave

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I would try to avoid using it as the first word.
 

Rover_KE

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iannou

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Can I ask why it's preferable not to use these words at the beginning of a sentence?

"iPhone sales increased during the third quarter." "Sales of iPhones increased during the third quarter."

Is one better than the other? I think journalists, eager to grab our attention, would favour the first. But that's only my opinion.
 

SoothingDave

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When you use words with non-conventional capitalization to start a sentence you have a dilemma that you don't have otherwise. Failing to start a sentence with a capital letter looks like an error, but so does writing "IPhone."

So, avoid it.
 

iannou

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When you use words with non-conventional capitalization to start a sentence you have a dilemma that you don't have otherwise. Failing to start a sentence with a capital letter looks like an error, but so does writing "IPhone."

So, avoid it.

The words are part of the lexicon. I don't see the dilemma. It may be rather jarring for some to see a sentence that begins with a lower case letter, but, it's not an error. I don't think there's any case to be made for making a rule about where in a sentence a word can be used. I think it's arbitrary and high-handed.
 

SoothingDave

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I simply said that I would recommend avoiding it. Not that there was some sort of absolute high-handed rule about it. It can be jarring and it does create a conflict between the proper use of trademark names and conventional grammar. There's nothing wrong with simply re-wording things to avoid this situation.
 

probus

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I'm agreeing with everybody here. I would try to avoid it, but if you can't, you can't, and you are not wrong.
 

emsr2d2

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I think it would have been jarring five or ten years ago. However, I think we have now become perfectly accustomed to seeing things like "eBay", "iPhone", "iPad", "iTouch", "iPod" etc and we know that the first letter is lower case. If someone who was unaware of the brand saw the word at the beginning of a sentence, they would certainly assume it was an error. I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid it but I see how it can be confusing to people who don't understand the terminology.
 
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