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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:12 PM   #1
jamesjingyi
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Error in Apple 'Designed by Apple' campaign? Or am I being stupid and picky?

When the video at WWDC started playing with the white and black theme, I noticed instantly that the phrase 'a thousand no's' came up... I was pretty sure this was wrong but I decided to reserve my judgement until conferring with others.

I am now pretty convinced that it is wrong as an apostrophe (') denotes belonging or a missing letter, in which 'no' does not have, it is plural. It therefore should be 'nos' without an apostrophe, however as someone pointed out to me, this could be confused with numbers. Actually as I'm typing this, there is a red line underneath telling me it is not a recognised word.

Am I correct? I would have thought that they would have checked the video many times and such a thing would have been ironed out...

Call be a Grammar Nazi or whatever, I think I'm correct...

James

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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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What would the pleural of "no" be ?
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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Maybe there is no plural no? "A thousand no" could be effective too, or as the "singular" (no is not really a noun) ends in -o, it could be "noes".

Hmm. But a plural apostrophe in an ad campaign from Apple looks quite pedestrian, or they go with the time and the plural apostrophe will be accepted more and more by ignorant people, thus Apple maybe spook to them?
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:22 PM   #4
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Well there shouldn't really be a plural but I would suspect as yes becomes yeses, no becomes noes (not to be confused with nose). Even the dictionary on the Mac says that this is the plural of no, now that I look it up... Come on Apple! Your dictionary says it, so you should implement it!

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Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
Maybe there is no plural no? "A thousand no" could be effective too, or as the "singular" (no is not really a noun) ends in -o, it could be "noes".

Hmm. But a plural apostrophe in an ad campaign from Apple looks quite pedestrian, or they go with the time and the plural apostrophe will be accepted more and more by ignorant people, thus Apple maybe spook to them?
But Apple is not an ignorant company!
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesjingyi View Post
But Apple is not an ignorant company!
Tell to that to Mac Pro users or the users left abandoned by Apple.

Anyway, since Apple is targeting Jane and John Doe, maybe plural apostrophes speak to them?

And as advertisement often has its own language rules, the apostrophe, while still incorrect by current rules, could have just been added to emphasize the "no" part, as maybe "nos" or "noes" (uih, nos is underlined red, like uih, but noes is not) may make the "no" part invisible to some eyes or even distract them.

EDIT: Dictionary.app has this to say about "no":
Quote:
no |nō|
adjective
1 not any : there is no excuse | no two plants are alike.
2 used to indicate that something is quite the opposite of what is being specified : it was no easy task persuading her | Toby is no fool.
3 hardly any : you'll be back in no time.
4 used in notices or slogans forbidding or rejecting something specified : “No Smoking” signs | no nukes.

exclamation
used to give a negative response : “Is anything wrong?” “No.”
• expressing disagreement or contradiction : “This is boring.” “No, it's not!”
• expressing agreement with or affirmation of a negative statement : they would never cause a fuss, oh no.
• expressing shock or disappointment at something one has heard or discovered : oh no, look at this!

adverb [with comparative ]
not at all; to no extent : they were no more able to perform the task than I was.

noun ( pl. noes )
a negative answer or decision, as in voting : he was unable to change his automatic yes to a no.
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Last edited by simsaladimbamba; Jun 25, 2013 at 02:31 PM. Reason: added dictionary part
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
Tell to that to Mac Pro users or the users left abandoned by Apple.

Anyway, since Apple is targeting Jane and John Doe, maybe plural apostrophes speak to them?

And as advertisement often has its own language rules, the apostrophe, while still incorrect by current rules, could have just been added to emphasize the "no" part, as maybe "nos" or "noes" (uih, nos is underlined red, like uih, but noes is not) may make the "no" part invisible to some eyes or even distract them.
I see your point because 'no' has two letters and adding another two would distract from the word. Jane and John's plural is as demonstrated. Jane's Mac Pro, John's excellent battery life on his MacBook Air, etc. Yes is recognised as 'yeses', however 'no' does not seem to be.

What is society coming to? xD
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesjingyi View Post
Jane and John's plural is as demonstrated. Jane's Mac Pro, John's excellent battery life on his MacBook Air, etc.
But that is utterly wrong, as if you would take about several Janes and Johns (Janes is not registered, but one seldom uses plurals of names I guess), it would be Janes' Mac Pros or Johns' battery life to show that several Janes have Mac Pros and several Johns have a battery life or any life at all. Hmm, batteries.

Quote:
What is society coming to? xD
It is coming to what is has been coming to the past thousands of years.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
But that is utterly wrong, as if you would take about several Janes and Johns (Janes is not registered, but one seldom uses plurals of names I guess), it would be Janes' Mac Pros or Johns' battery life to show that several Janes have Mac Pros and several Johns have a battery life or any life at all. Hmm, batteries.


It is coming to what is has been coming to the past thousands of years.
Oh yes sorry, I was doing singular possessive not plural possessive. Sorry, I just made a massive fool of myself However the 'no' in question does not have possession of anything and is just plural.

Btw, the Johns don't have battery life, its their MacBook Airs
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesjingyi View Post
Btw, the Johns don't have battery life, its their MacBook Airs
But I was talking about Johns, a new satisfaction node for Jane's purse. Or so.

Hmm, I left feedback with Apple about this, probably will not get a reply nor will we see some change.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
But I was talking about Johns, a new satisfaction node for Jane's purse. Or so.

Hmm, I left feedback with Apple about this, probably will not get a reply nor will we see some change.
I know its probably not him, but I'll email Mr Cook He sometimes replies, and this is top urgency! Don't want Apple looking like a fool!
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:37 PM   #11
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Maybe you'll get a job as grammar nazi in residence?
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 08:25 AM   #12
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For what it's worth, Webster's New Third International dictionary gives noes and nos as plural for no as a noun. Generally in Webster's the first is preferred, but the second is acceptable.

However, given the crimes against apostrophes that have arisen in the computer-driven age, this is a relatively minor offense.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 10:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesjingyi View Post
Oh yes sorry, I was doing singular possessive not plural possessive. Sorry, I just made a massive fool of myself However the 'no' in question does not have possession of anything and is just plural.

Btw, the Johns don't have battery life, its their MacBook Airs
*it's their MacBook Air's

Or possibly Airs'!? Sorry to be pedantic, but if you can't do it on a thread about being a grammar Nazi then where can you do it?

With regards to the rogue apostrophe: "noes" would be correct, but is considered by many to be archaic. "Nos" is also an acceptable modern variation, but many others (myself included) think this looks bizarre.

Because they're referring to a spoken "no", I personally think they should have written:
There are a thousand 'no's for every 'yes'.
which would presumably have kept everyone happy.

For an interesting view on modern grammar in general, you may find this an interesting read:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/book...isnoplaceforze
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 03:15 PM   #14
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It's often said that part of art is knowing when to break the rules.

In the context of video/audio advertising, one goal is to avoid pulling the eye/mind from the message. Music should not distract from narration, background visuals should not draw the eye from the product, etc. The serial flow of these media prevents re-viewing/re-listening (TiVo and pause buttons aside).

So, no pondering, even for a second, what "noes" means. It's not even a matter of educational or intellectual attainment. One can't even assume the Harvard-educated are familiar with "noes," outside of the many Harvard Law grads who work in government. In this particular context, "no" had to be instantly and universally parsed. Separating the root from the suffix does that, rigid adherence to the rules does not.

Unconscious error vs. deliberate decision? One "yes" for "deliberate."
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 04:23 PM   #15
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You can also use an apostrophe to avoid confusion with letters in unusual words. So to make sure that you realise it's the plural of 'no' and not the word 'nos' you can add an apostrophe.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 05:23 PM   #16
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Apostrophe or Prime?

Never mind the grammar or spelling error, did the designer use the correct apostrophe symbol or the incorrect and irritatingly common prime mark?

'≠’
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 07:21 PM   #17
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I'm sure some copywriter at Chiat/Day poured over this for hours before deciding on how you see it there. Major ads like this usually don't have such glaring mistakes.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 06:14 PM   #18
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They got it wrong (it should have been "nos" or "noes") but then the iconic "Think Different" should have been "Think Differently", so maybe they're just maintaining tradition.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 06:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swordio777 View Post
*it's their MacBook Air's

Or possibly Airs'!? Sorry to be pedantic, but if you can't do it on a thread about being a grammar Nazi then where can you do it?
I'm sure the trademark lawyers at Apple would insist you pluralize it as MacBook Air computers.

But it really doesn't matter since English is so malleable. For a brief period in the 80s, the word "bad" could mean "good" or "bad" depending on context. Gotta love that flexibility.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 06:35 PM   #20
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I almost immediately took that as a deliberate departure from strict language rules. Apple does that all the time in their marketing print. ("Songs that go great together." The "funnest iPod ever"!)

(I would have chosen ' a thousand "no"s '. And, yay, Oxford does suggest "noes" as well.)
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Old Jun 28, 2013, 07:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesjingyi View Post
When the video at WWDC started playing with the white and black theme, I noticed instantly that the phrase 'a thousand no's' came up... I was pretty sure this was wrong but I decided to reserve my judgement until conferring with others.

I am now pretty convinced that it is wrong as an apostrophe (') denotes belonging or a missing letter, in which 'no' does not have, it is plural. It therefore should be 'nos' without an apostrophe, however as someone pointed out to me, this could be confused with numbers. Actually as I'm typing this, there is a red line underneath telling me it is not a recognised word.

Am I correct? I would have thought that they would have checked the video many times and such a thing would have been ironed out...

I think I'm correct...
I think you're correct too, and you can also check m-w.com and dictionary.com to see if they list it. As you were saying, an apostrophe is used for contractions like "isn't" for is not, "it's" for it is, etc. I don't know of any instances off-hand where an apostrophe is correctly used to indicate plurality.

Purely a guess: Maybe they did it because "nos" or "noes" would have looked weird...?

Incidentally, I just checked m-w.com and "nos" is an abbreviation for "numbers", and "noes" is apparently the plural for "no":

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/noes

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But it really doesn't matter since English is so malleable.
Or at the very least, convenient (though maybe inconvenient if it isn't one's first language...?)
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Old Jun 29, 2013, 01:25 AM   #22
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Yes, it's pretty annoying to see that Apple is making such simple error's in their advertisement's. But as a native Californian who never wants to move back to that bass-ackwards state again, I don't think that's the dumbest thing about this campaign.
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Old Jun 29, 2013, 01:47 PM   #23
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I'm so glad enough of us noticed this.
The fight against apostrophe abuse continues!
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Old Jun 30, 2013, 02:04 AM   #24
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Maybe you'll get a job as grammar nazi in residence?
"No Grammar for you!"
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Old Jun 30, 2013, 06:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macuser453787 View Post
I think you're correct too, and you can also check m-w.com and dictionary.com to see if they list it. As you were saying, an apostrophe is used for contractions like "isn't" for is not, "it's" for it is, etc. I don't know of any instances off-hand where an apostrophe is correctly used to indicate plurality.

Purely a guess: Maybe they did it because "nos" or "noes" would have looked weird...?

Incidentally, I just checked m-w.com and "nos" is an abbreviation for "numbers", and "noes" is apparently the plural for "no":

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/noes

----------



Or at the very least, convenient (though maybe inconvenient if it isn't one's first language...?)
Thats good then! It's proven!
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