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The Word Jeep Is Perfect

Posted in Features on December 7, 2018
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Photographers: Rick Péwé

Jeep is one of those great words that can be a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, pronoun, proverb, and even a dangling participle. It ranks right up there with the notorious F-word in usage and adaptability—and unless you are a Jeep hater, the word Jeep causes much less consternation when used in polite company.

The word Jeep is unique in many respects, and Jeep is also a trademark of FCA US (which does sound awfully close to that other word), so the corporate lawyers protect the “brand,” as it is known. They are insistent that the word Jeep remains pure and unadulterated so as not to diminish the importance of their prized possession—Jeep. In fact, when Chrysler first bought Jeep from AMC in the ’80s, the lawyers and brand protectors went on a rampage with cease and desist orders on anyone using the Jeep name in any business or private enterprise. They even went as far as to eliminate the words JEEP TRAIL on all USGS topographic maps. It was a sad day indeed.

Of course, the lowercase word jeep is usually thought of as the military jeep and certain relatives from WWII, unlike any civilian version, which should properly be designated as Jeep. Although FCA US doesn’t believe in Jeeping, Jeeps, and the like, we use those words anyway, as they are more proper than many other words. Heck, we say we are going Jeeping, or even wheeling, but never have I gone Broncoing or Toyotaing or Chevroleting—have you? The bottom line is that we’ll keep our way of speaking and writing around here the way it should be, while still respecting the Jeep brand—it is the most important vehicle in the world, and the most important word. Remember, the sun never sets on the mighty jeep.

—Rick Péwé

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