Honesty is still the best policy

By Maramis

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. 

.Everyone by now knows all about the college admissions scandal, “starring” Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, along with many other affluent parents trying to get their kids into better schools than the children could qualify for on their own.

Long before the college admissions scandal broke, it was discovered that Olivia Jade, Lori Loughlin’s daughter, didn’t even fill out her own University of Southern California (USC) application, and the application she did fill out herself, for registering her “Olivia Jade Beauty” trademark, was rejected due to vague language and poor punctuation. 

Documents obtained by the journalist researchers revealed that the United States Patent and Trademark Office informed Olivia Jade that “makeup kits” was too broad a term for which to trademark her name, adding in the form, “applicant must correct the punctuation in the identification to clarify the individual items in the list of goods.”
“Proper punctuation in identifications is necessary to delineate explicitly each product or service within a list and to avoid ambiguity,” the form continued. “Commas, semicolons, and apostrophes are the only punctuation that should be used.”
Olivia Jade reportedly sought to trademark “make up kits comprised of moisturizer, primer, concealer, foundation, make-up powder, make-up pencils, eye make-up, eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, blush, highlighter, bronzer, make-up setting spray lipstick lip gloss, lip stains, make-up remover.”
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recommended that Olivia Jade specify “skin moisturizer” and “facial concealer” and  “makeup setting spray” to clarify her trademark requests.
The YouTube starlet lost many if not all endorsement deals with big brand names such as Sephora, TRESemmé, Estée Lauder and more following allegations that her parents — Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli — used bribes to get her and her sister Isabella admitted to the University of Southern California.
Then we hear that Olivia Jade had those punctuation problems on her trademark application. I am not making fun of Olivia Jade; in fact, I think it is rather sad that no one thought to check over her application before she submitted it to catch any little thing that might need to be corrected. If nothing else, I hope that there is a lesson in that for anyone who needs an application or any document of any kind to be more perfect than they can manage on their own to check
with one or two other more literate friends or an actual editor.
As an editor, I have seen something as small as a business card with more than three mistakes that needed fixing. And that was after the
person had ordered 1,000 cards. I have even seen street-wide banners — getting stretched out, ready to be carried in a parade — with only two
words written on them and one of them was misspelled.
There are some documents that obviously require perfect spelling and punctuation, and if any errors are found, those documents will not be accepted. I even heard from someone the other day that there is a website that encourages others to submit articles for it, but they must be perfect going in. If they have even one comma out of place, the webmaster will not publish the article. I can’t tell you how many articles would never see the light of day if we had that policy here
at the Las Vegas Tribune. If I catch any errors, large or small, I will fix them. And I admit that I am far from perfect and do not catch them all, but the good news is that the articles are far more important than any misplaced commas or incorrectly used semicolons.
Fortunately for Olivia Jade, she was able to fix what needed fixing on her trademark application, and I just heard on the news tonight that her application has now been accepted. She may not be skilled in writing, or even several other subjects, but she may not need those other skills if she is smart enough to hire those who can serve in that capacity for her in her new beauty line business. I sincerely hope that Olivia Jade does well in her beauty business and does not
have to long suffer for the mistakes — call them what you will — of her mother and father.
It’s understandable that any parent, especially those who can afford it, want their child or children to attend what they believe is the best school for them. The problem with this secretive school scheme scandal is that it ultimately hurts the children caught up in it. How long will they be able to keep up the charade of “I’m as smart as all of you are”? Surely something they say or write will one day trip them up. Maybe I’m wrong and that would never happen. Maybe if the children never get to know that they were pawns in their parents’ scheme, they will fit right in and it will never be an issue. Maybe.
Or maybe Olivia Jade simply realized that she was not college student material. I saw a short video of Olivia Jade saying something like she’s looking forward to game day and [the fun of college] but was not at all interested in school itself. She knew she was not the scholarly type. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if she had a plan for her life that required further education, it could be a big hindrance.
However, she was already a businesswoman with her line of beauty products and maybe this scandal event will now keep her out of college. Maybe.
While I wish all young entrepreneurs success, I also wish all college  students the sense of integrity and honesty to get through their college days without cheating in even a small way. Even if their parents want to help.
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email
her at maramis@lasvegastribune.com.

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