Dot vs. DOT (and Other Common Questions About Our Name)

Jul 11, 2022 | 2:34 pm

The “Dot” in “Dot Foods” is pretty straightforward. Three simple letters. Easy to pronounce. Virtually impossible to misspell. But that still leaves two areas open for potential confusion: punctuation and capitalization; is it “Dot,” “DOT,” “D.O.T.”? Which is why we decided to answer some of the more common questions surrounding our namesake.

What does Dot stand for?

The “Dot” in Dot Foods and Dot Transportation isn’t an acronym and thus doesn’t stand for anything. Rather, it’s the moniker of our celebrated co-founder and late matriarch of our founding family, Dorothy “Dot” Tracy who adopted the nickname in college.

In the early days of what was then known as Associated Dairy Products, Co-Founder Robert Tracy decided to separate the food redistribution side of the business from the transportation side. In celebration of his beloved wife, he named the newly hatched trucking business “Dot Transportation.”

When the companies merged three years later, the name stuck. Dot Transportation and Associated Dairy Products became “Dot Associated Dairy Products.” In 1981, this moniker was broadened to “Dot Foods” and in 1991, the transportation branch once again became its own “Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI)” entity. But informally, those within Dot Foods or DTI will commonly just say “Dot” when referring to either.

Is it “Dot” or “DOT”?

Since it’s the name of a person and not an acronym like CVS (Consumer Value Stores), UPS (United Parcel Service), or BMW (Bavarian Motor Works), every mention is spelled as “Dot” (capital, lowercase, lowercase) whether you’re talking about the food redistribution company (Dot Foods) or the transportation affiliate (Dot Transportation).

And yes, we know the logos emblazoned on our 1,500+ trucks and 2,500+ trailers feature three capital letters. But not unlike Ikea, Netflix, Samsung, Sony, Subway, Tesla, or a slew of other brands, that capitalization is only reserved for the logomark itself. In writing, it is always:

Capital “D” + lowercase “o” + lowercase “t” = Dot!

What about that other Dot/DOT?

Ahh yes, we get this a lot. If you’re not familiar with Dot Foods or Dot Transportation, then chances are the Department of Transportation is the first thing you think of when you see a Dot-branded truck or building. Even the names “Department of Transportation (D.O.T.)” and “Dot Transportation, Inc.” are inconveniently similar to one another. But make no mistake, while we go above and beyond to ensure that our trucks and our drivers are in compliance with regulations set forth by that other similiarly named organization, we are not affiliated with the Department of Transportation or any other government agency.

Connecting the Dots

To ensure we have all of our i’s dotted and t’s crossed…or Dots crossed, as it were…here’s everything you need to know in one handy guide:

RIGHT

  • Dot Foods
  • Dot Transportation, Inc.
  • DTI (short for “Dot Transportation, Inc.)
  • Dot (informal, but generally acceptable)

WRONG

  • DOT Foods
  • D.O.T Foods
  • dot foods
  • dOt FoOdS
  • D.O.T. (unless you’re talking about the Department of Transportation, of course)

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