iCan’t Take it Anymore

I’m willing to overlook everyone being convinced Apple’s the best thing since sliced bread, and that it’s SO MUCH better than a PC, though the first thing anyone does when they buy a Mac is download all Window applications.

I’m willing to overlook that I might as well buy a Samsung, at half the price (be it a tablet or phone), since they have been manufacturing Apple components.

I’m willing to overlook that Apple twists innovation into profit schemes to corner you into only buying Apple accessories at astronomically ridiculous prices since other generic brands aren’t compatible. So, the (air quotes)genius(air quotes) of the (big ass sarcastic air quotes)magnetic charger(big ass sarcastic air quotes followed by a HA!) isn’t that it’s magnetic, but that no other charger is, so Apple can jack up the price simply because you have no other choice.

But the ONE thing I CANNOT overlook, from the iPod to the iPhone, is the grammatical blasphemy and stupendous arrogance of the small “i”.

All through history, the greatest of our writers, the icons, the men and women who have brought us Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Notes from the Underground, have stayed true to grammatical tradition of capitalizing the first person pronoun, putting their creativity to use in the content, the story, the idea.

So, what- just because Apple essentially reinvented the concept of the Walkman (originally invented by Sony, who as Japanese wouldn’t dare to break tradition, capitalizing the ‘W), that made them believe that they could also reinvent grammar?

If there was a purpose in doing so, or a clever meaning attached to the small “i”, it would be ingenious and inventive. But, if the purpose is just to be ‘cool’, then Apple really is no different than my friend’s 15 year old son who wears his shirt inside out.

If the purpose was to be more legible in pronouncing it as EYE-pod rather than EE-pod, well, here’s a 4-1-1 or rather the 4-i-i for the marketeers at Apple: the same phonetic objective can be achieved by what is known as a hyphen. Otherwise, we all might as well drop the concept of a hyphen and simply write words like T-shirt as tShirt.

I’m all for breaking with convention, but when there’s a brilliance behind breaking it, when there’s message to convey in breaking it.

But, if the small “i” is what Apple means when they say ‘Think Different’, they might as well just have us all ditch Webster and start marketing the iCtionary.

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85 thoughts on “iCan’t Take it Anymore

  1. amelie88

    As someone who has never owned an Apple product, I found this hilarious! I don’t look down on Apple, I just don’t listen to music all that often so I don’t really see a reason to own one. I was once given an iPod shuffle which kind of ticked me off since I didn’t see the point of only listening to songs on shuffle! No idea where it is now…

    When I got a new computer six months ago, I simply went with PC because I’m used to it. I use my computer for basic stuff, I’m not a photographer/graphics person and at the ripe old age of 24, I like using what I’m used to. I’m still lost using Microsoft Word 2010 because I was so used to the 2003 version… An iPhone would be useful though but I haven’t graduated to a smartphone yet. One day I will become an Apple user but it won’t be anytime soon!

    Reply
  2. Emma in Euroland

    Brilliant post! Although I do own an iPod, I am perfectly happy with my much much cheaper Dell PC than an Apple Mac! I completely agree with you about the grammatical blasphemy that Apple have committed with regard to the little ‘i’. Way to teach the new generation about the correct usage of capital letters and hyphens ;). Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

    Reply
  3. galangpusa

    While you’re at it, you might want to write a similar piece lambasting YouTube for forgetting to put a space between the ‘You’ and the ‘Tube’. Grammar Nazi. Google it.

    Reply
    1. saurabhsgh

      That’s a standard convention we use to club words when spaces cannot be use (GOOGLE IT) (you go to ‘youtube.com’ not ‘you tube.com’). The author clearly mentioned that she/he does not care about the grammer being abused if there is meaning to it or a message to be conveyed. Apple’s usage if “i” is just to create a product identity, trying to be unique.

      Reply
  4. danheydon

    Good article. I genuinely enjoy reading/writing rants on small topics of no real significance. I thought I would delve a little deeper and research the exact origination of the lower case ‘i’.

    It turns out, the brains behind the iPod originally intended it to be used as a portable information source. The lower case ‘i’ stood for ‘information’, as this symbol was already commonly used on a large variety of products e.g. websites, user manuals etc and was universally known. After initial market research however, Apple discovered that while young people are out and about, 999 out of 1000 would rather listen to music than learn random information (1 survey was accidentally taken near Harvard College). Therefore the concept of the iPod changed to music, but Steve Jobs couldn’t be bothered to fill in the paperwork to change the name.

    Reply
  5. Kimberly

    Nicely put. Magnetic charger… it’s like how they change all the keyboard shortcuts to be “different” but it just makes it infuriating when constantly changing between home PC and work Mac (with all Windows programs as you mentioned!). Command + C or Control + C – which is it today? 🙂 (Or putting the minimize/maximize [which it doesn’t ever fully do] on the opposite side of the window just to eff with your habits.

    Reply
  6. m.e.doane

    Perhaps it’s a demoralizing revision. Think, Apple has successfully confined users to its app store and nearly destroyed the open source powerhouse of the PC for mainstream users. What it’s done is create a culture of mass collectivism where users cannot express themselves with freedom of choice. The idea was for everyone to get an iPhone and for the only customability to be in app choice (from a predefined list of apps). The I is no longer capitalized because the individual is no longer a separate entity. S/he is now part of the massive population who owns an iDevice (all of which look and feel and sound and act relatively the same way).

    Reply
  7. shoutabyss

    Magnificently poised at #1, Apple is now in perfect position for the hardest fall. That’s my prediction. Take a look at the Microsoft story. They were the big time for a while. During that time, did they squirrel away for a rainy day or worry about the location of their cheese? No. Then a newspaper comes along and says that PC sales are dropping hard. Suddenly it’s Armageddon for Microsoft. This could be the beginning of the end. I hope Apple is watching. Change is not necessary. Survival is not mandatory.

    Reply
  8. audaciouswords

    Reblogged this on Audacious | Words and commented:
    This is Hilarious. I detest Apple and my view simply is that Apple is in many respects stifling innovation for the sake of profits. Their products may be good looking and simple to use; but as far as innovation go, they haven’t brought much to the table in a long time. Also, if third party manufacturers were not obsessing about making Ipod compliant products, we would have wireless Music syncing in everything right now e.g. hotels, cars etc…

    It is a given, there is one thing that apple does well and that is marketing and retainining customer loyalty. Make no mistake they are sinister in their approach. A few years ago I came across a nursery school (kindergarten to my american folks) who received 3 Apple Computers as a donation from Apple. A very generous and philanthropic gesture by Apple. A first glance, it seemed as such. However, the sinister side is that the children could not use their parents PC’s at home as they were so used to the Apple product that children were asking their parents for an Apple. Many know that an Apple product costs twice as much as a Windows PC and does more or less the same job. It was a marketing ploy from Apple and not a generous act of charity at all. It is a sinister company who has money at it’s core not innovation and not certainly it’s customers – maybe not a lot different from many other companies but not all of them are as predatory and controlling as Apple. All I feel sorry for those patrons who fall prey to Apple marketing and waste a lot of their hard earned money.

    Reply
  9. audaciouswords

    This is Hilarious. I detest Apple and my view simply is that Apple is in many respects stifling innovation for the sake of profits. Their products may be good looking and simple to use; but as far as innovation go, they haven’t brought much to the table in a long time. Also, if third party manufacturers were not obsessing about making Ipod compliant products, we would have wireless Music syncing in everything right now e.g. hotels, cars etc… It is a given, there is one thing that apple does well and that is marketing and retaining customer loyalty. Make no mistake they are sinister in their approach. A few years ago I came across a nursery school (kindergarten to my american folks) who received 3 Apple Computers as a donation from Apple. A very generous and philanthropic gesture by Apple. At first glance, it seemed as much. However, the sinister side is that Apple preyed on the fact humans are creatures of habit and it later turned out that the children could not use their parents PC’s at home as they were so used to the Apple at school. The children were asking their parents for an Apple. Many know that an Apple product costs twice as much as a Windows PC and does more or less the same job. It was a marketing ploy from Apple and not a generous act of charity at all. It is a sinister company who has money at it’s core not innovation and certainly not it’s customers – maybe not a lot different from many other companies these days, but not all of them are as predatory and controlling as Apple. All I feel sorry for now these days are those patrons who fall prey to Apple’s marketing and waste a lot of their hard earned money on their products. Audacious-Words….

    Reply
  10. Omaliko's Thoughts

    This is a rather hilarious critic of Apples “i” Concept. The “i” has always baffled me as well. It never made any sense. But I decided to go with the “Herd Instinct” and not question it openly.

    Reply
  11. Pingback: A brief article on Apple « Best selling stuff

  12. kinetikat

    Yeah, it’s a marketing ploy that reeks of the 80s, when the ‘i’ (standing for ‘information’) in ‘IT’ and ‘ITC’ became a handy and ‘hip’ way to tag a hot concept. I’d say personally, looking at it as a designer, that Apple probably plumped for the lowercase ‘i’ for a couple of reasons – firstly, because it was – and still is – visually and cognitively distinctive because it (hello) breaks the rules of grammar; second, because if they had used a capital ‘I’ people would have pronounced their new product as “Ippod” – the capital would have been confusing, and a hyphen in a logo… visually not good, and it looks fussy.
    Interesting post, interesting comments!

    Reply
  13. yourlesbianfriend

    Interesting idea! I never considered the small i in Apple products to be offensive grammar before, but you make a good point. I’m often irritated by Apple’s arrogance and by my friends’ blind devotion to products that make things simpler by taking away your freedom to do them your own way. Macbooks are great for people who don’t want to think while on their computer, but if there’s a problem, there’s no way to re-trace your steps because you took no steps in the first place–Apple took them for you behind closed doors! Having said that, I love my iPod.

    Reply
  14. girlandthoughts

    Thank you for this brilliant post! I have always hated Apple’s arrogance and their elitist ways. They aren’t as good as they think they are and they cannot create grammar which suits them.

    Reply
  15. afreethinkingfemale

    Oh, I hate Apple for all of the aforementioned reasons… Even the ones you’re willing to overlook (although I suspect you don’t really overlook them). In my household, we refer to all Apple products, as well as the insane brand loyalty surrounding them, as “iLife” (or, if we are in a foul mood, “iF*#%”). Thanks for the like-minded rant. 😉

    Reply

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