is a cube 2 cute 4 caps?

There I was, peacefully reading a press release to see how Nissan was pricing a new model. Then Nissan North America Inc. officially changed the name of the Cube small crossover to “cube.”

My inner nitpicker instantly engaged. How dare Nissan stop capitalizing products? And where's the consistency? Nissan still has cubes with capitals (just not capital C). If you don't want a plain cube 1.8, you can get the cube 1.8 S or even the Nissan cube 1.8 S Krom Edition.

And why is it the Nissan cube? Why not nissan cube?

Then I relaxed a bit. Hey, consistency is overrated. As the press release noted, “this message was sent by www.NissanNews.com,” which I could find at http://www.nissannews.com. Clearly, Nissan had set itself free.

So getting into the spirit … my altima quest is to take a rogue armada across the frontier using a cubed sentra as pathfinder, or vice-versa.

But somehow, cube's too cutsie-cutsie. The dropped capital was semi-clever as a marketing device when Daimler bought smart from the original joint-venture creators, Volkswagen and Swiss watchmaker swatch. It was strained when Mitsubishi called its minicar the “i” (and even worse when the electric version became the i MiEV).

This use seems even more strained, more forced than calling Nissan “the artist formerly known as Datsun.” Yes, this is a world driven by texting. But even mobile phones come with full keyboards these days.

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