Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

This is not a picture of 3 iPhones.


You’re in a meeting, everyone’s fooling around on Facebook, and the table is covered with MacBooks.

No, it’s not.

You’re out to dinner, no one’s talking, everyone’s texting, and the restaurant is full of iPhones.

You just think it is.

This, you see, is the sort of breaking news that might break lesser humans than the readers of Technically Incorrect.

I am here to tell you that you should never, ever pluralize Apple product names.

I’ve discovered this thanks to a Twitter conversation involving Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller.

Andreessen Horowitz partner Benedict Evans had suggested, some might think pedantically, that he’d been discussing “iPads Pro” on a podcast. You know, it’s like “attorneys general” rather than “attorney generals.”

Up popped Schiller to illuminate the plurality of famous humans who’d participated in a discussion of Evans’ odd pluralism.

“One need never pluralize Apple product names. Ex: Mr. Evans used two iPad Pro devices,” Schiller tweeted.

Some, though, might want to.

Some, in fact, might have a deep desire to say “iPhones,” just as they describe a collection of corporate spokespeople as “shillers.”

Apple, however, is known for having its precious side.

Schiller explained in a second tweet: “Really! Words can be both singular and plural, such as deer and clothes.”

It’s heartening to get grammar lessons from the company that brought you ‘Think Different.”

But Schiller wasn’t done. He added, “It would be proper to say ‘I have 3 Macintosh’ or ‘I have 3 Macintosh computers.'”

Proper? Did he really say proper? In ancient English vernacular, he might have sounded to some like a proper Charlie for suggesting this level of uppity decorum.

Of course, it’s likely Schiller was teasing the important types in this Twitter thread. After all, he’s known for enjoying humor of a sort — especially if it’s about Windows PCs.

Apple didn’t respond to a desperate request for clarification.

In the interim, if you’re an Apple fanperson, please confine yourself to the Schiller Strictures. Just in case, you understand. You don’t want to lose your credentials, do you? (Or should that be credential?) You don’t want to sound singularly stupid.

You have 2 iPad Pro devices. You have 16 Macintosh. You have four iPhone, um, phones.

And you have to learn English all over again.

A plurality of views.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET


Apple insists you're saying its product names all wrong – CNET