Apple gets criticised for all kinds of things - warm iPads, Apple TV's horrible new user interface, being Apple - but when it comes to its most heinous behaviour, Apple gets off scot-free. You can sum it up in just five words: 'What's my day look like?'
If the phrase looks familiar, that's because it's the headline for the UK's current crop of iPhone ads. I can only assume that the idea is to make everyone who sees the ads think "Hey! Siri is so amazing, it can even understand simpletons who don't use words properly!"
What's my day look like, Siri? Well, Gary, your day is look like this!
Apple's becoming quite adept at abusing the English language. I'm not talking about wordplay here. When Apple makes up words such as 'resolutionary' to describe the new iPad or 'thinnovation' to sell the MacBook Air it's guilty of just the kind of bad puns the NME was famous for and I've spent years trying to emulate; 'Think Different' wouldn't have worked with 'ly' on the end; and I'm not going to point out that when Apple says the iPod touch "has fun written all over it" the photos show that actually, that isn't true.
No, what I'm talking about is actual language abuse. One of my pet hates is Apple's disregard for the definite article. "With an updated interface, more fitness features and new clock faces, iPod nano is Multi-Touch," Apple says, making me want to scream, "It's THE iPod! And capitalise 'nano' while you're at it! You've been doing this wrong for a decade!"
That's not the only way Apple plays fast and loose with The Queen's English. There's localisation too, or rather the lack of it. Every time I see Game Center on my iPhone or my iPad, or when I see the word Store in the navigation bar of the Apple UK website, I get a little bit annoyed because of course store is American for shop and center is American for centre.
I'm not being a fundamentalist here - I know Apple's an American company, and I've almost stopped flinching when Apple execs pronounce iTunes as iToons during presentations - but it'd be nice if Apple could use British spellings for the products it offers in Britain.
Apple manages to do the dollar/pound currency conversions without any problems. Is it really so much harder to call Game Center Game Centre?
The worst, though, the absolute worst, was the phrase Apple decided to use in late 2008 to promote the iPod Touch - sorry, to promote iPod touch. "The funnest iPod ever", the ads said, making grammar geeks wince: if the 2008 iPod touch was the funnest ever, that surely meant it was funner than any other iPod. And today's model also has Game Center when you buy it from the Store!
Complaining's pointless, I know. My iMac just told me so: while my copy of Pages drew little red lines under "resolutionary" and "center", funner and funnest didn't raise an electronic eyebrow.
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