Inside the reality distortion field: everything Apple does is “great, really awesome, best ever”

Apple opened the 2014 WWDC with a massive keynote where it showed the world its brand new iOS 8 and Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and it was evident that the executives on stage had a really good time. They dropped a couple of weed jokes, threw a few punches at Google and Microsoft, and even made fun of Craig Federighi’s hair, but the one thing that they did best was to time and time again lavish praise on their own products.

You get a sense of Apple’s excessive use of superlatives when you watch the full 2-hour presentation (it’s available online), but the real scale of it really starts to dawn on you when you isolate just the moments when Apple executives praise the newly unveiled features: “great, wonderful, fantastic, remarkable, gorgeous, awesome, in a league of its own, amazing, terrific, incredible, beautiful, phenomenal, mind-blowing, unreal, stunning, dramatically, trully stunning, unbelievable, really awesome, best ever, unparalleled…” You could start building up a thesaurus with Apple’s selection of superlatives, but it’s not just how many the company uses - it’s how often it glues the highest praise words to even relatively mundane features.

Looking at just this part of the presentation, it seems like a hilarious overuse of words, but that’s how Apple has always been. Remember the legend about the reality distortion field around Steve Jobs? These might be the very nuts and bolts. But from another point of view, maybe deep inside, that is exactly what users want to hear and see - something really, truly great and new. What do you think?


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