Phil Schiller thinks you're saying Apple product names wrong

Phil Schiller thinks you're saying Apple product names wrong
Long time readers will know that we like to talk about semantics from time to time, like the value (or lack thereof) in the word "fragmentation" or whether the word "smartphone" is even necessary. However, it's rare for there to be a story about execs at a big company like Apple taking on grammar. Today is that rare exception, because Phil Schiller apparently has strong opinions about how to pluralize the names of Apple products.

The pluralization discussion isn't even the more obvious one that you might expect, as in: How do you refer to more than one iPhone 6s? Are the iPhone 6ses? Instead, Schiller took exception to the pluralization of general products like the iPhone or Mac. Ask any normal person and we're quite sure that most people would say plural would be iPhones or Macs. However, Schiller is not a normal person, it seems. According to Schiller, "One need never pluralize Apple product names." Schiller asserts that Apple product names occupy the strange space as the words deer, scissors, or pants, which are the same whether singular or plural. 

This means, Schiller said, that it would be correct to say, "I have 3 Macintosh," (as though anyone in the word doesn't call an Apple computer a Mac). This means the sentence "The school has 25 iPad" would be completely acceptable. However, if you can't bring yourself to say it that way, the official Apple style guide suggests the correct way to do it is to add a descriptor, like "5 iPad tablets" or "69 iPhone devices". 

Of course, the whole argument is ridiculous, because not only are these just the ways Apple would like you to say it (which has no bearing on how normal people actually talk), but CEO Tim Cook himself has broken the rules by saying the words "iPhones" and "iPad Pros" in the most recent earnings call. 

So basically, just say what you want. The Apple Style Guide isn't the dictionary so the rules don't really matter to anyone outside of Apple itself. 

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41 Comments

1. OrigPhoneGeek

Posts: 27; Member since: Jun 11, 2014

OMG Apple peoples :P are freaking nuts...

28. legiloca

Posts: 1675; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

so is that guy in your DP

2. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

iPhones 6seseseseseseseseseseseseseseseses

3. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Who has 3 Macs for that to be a problem?

21. Unordinary unregistered

A lot of people

31. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Bedroom mac, living room mac, kitchen mac. Rich people

4. Rocket

Posts: 631; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Omg an article just for this bs? Smh

25. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

To be honest, I always wondered why they referenced their products during keynotes as if they were not objects. They always sounded goofy and down right pompous, but it might be that they're just Apple. Regardless, anytime Cook goes "iPad is the best tablet in the world" or some other BS instead of "the iPad", it always just sounds wrong.

27. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

because its mythical creature

42. TmoRep

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

Reminds me of a debate about plurals earlier this week, as follows. My buddy asked me what the Plural of Moose was and I said Moose, he replied "no, it's Meese". So I asked him how he came up with that, he said, if goose is geese, Moose must be meese. To which I said what about a Mouse, and he replied the same.

5. dimas

Posts: 3297; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

iphones macs ipads ipods. Schiller should take a vacation or two, he's too iObsess and iSerious to be iPolitically correct.

6. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Why phonearena keep release Apple articles even it's pointless. Michael H somemore I don't see such coverage happen on any Android device

7. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

This article is pretty stupid, but then again, you can't really pluralize names, nowadays, iPad became a term for all tablet, even though it's not always true, but I did meet a lot of people just calling all tablets, iPad. So the Dow shave a point, iPad is a name, which technically pluralization is not correct, for example, we could say 3 Lamborghini gallardos, but in reality, is grammatically incorrect

26. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

3 Gallardos is grammatically correct. Plurality of names follows the rules used for nouns. Schiller is smoking the good stuff again, as usual. He would make a great politician, just not one that should have any influence on my life.

33. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

oh, my bad, on the second thought, you are correct.

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Schiller is stupid. 1 iPad is not the same as 2 iPad's. You can say 2 iPad. He a fool. The of iPhone would be iPhones. Just like more than one phone would be phones. What a stupid slob. Shut up Schiller you're an educated fool

22. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

An ant talking to a dinosaur.

30. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

possibly, but the ants are still here ;)

9. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 884; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

2 iPhone phones..

10. fyah_king unregistered

Ahhh, the sheep will say it proper from now on. They will listen to the almighty Apple.:)

11. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Hmm... Very informative...... ???

12. HR_19

Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

I don't really have strong feelings about this. I DO have strong feelings about, is when people say, "iTouch" when they reference the iPod touch, or "iWatch" when they mean Apple Watch. These things, not violent video games, make me want to hit people.

16. kiko007

Posts: 7491; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

If I ever hear someone call an IPod Touch an "iTouch" I might vomit. Then proceed to shovel (hurl?) said vomit at their face. Iwatch I can handle, but the iPod touch has been around since like 2008. How does someone not know what an IPod Touch is? No excuses... they will recieve my vomit fling of disapproval!!!!!!

34. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Thats a bit over-board

13. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

oh well... whatever.. innovation..

14. SayMobile

Posts: 156; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

" you are saying it wrong " lmaoo!!!

15. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Phil is shenanigan after all.

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I bet he had a serious look on his face, when he said it.

23. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

We need two pages size for a comment, please.

29. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

And more stalkers.

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