Anyone Else Notice the Poor Grammar in Apple Writing/Ads for Their iDevices?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SomeDudeAsking, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2010
    So I'm browsing the Apple website from a link in another thread on here. I'm looking at where it is talking about how to clean Apple products.

    If we look at the section for the iPhones:

    Now, if we compare that to the section for the iPads:

    And then also look at the section for iMacs:

    Notice that Apple butchers the grammar in the section for the iDevices where it inconsistently references iPhone without a "the" or "your" before it. In the iMac section, a reference to an iMac is preceded by "your" and is grammatically correct.

    For example, from above, the iPhone section uses "Clean iPhone immediately if it comes into contact" when it should actually say "Clean your iPhone immediately if it comes into contact". And also, where it says "To clean iPhone, unplug all cables", it should actually say "To clean your iPhone, unplug all cables".

    The iPad section is mixed. In the first sentence, it correctly uses "Handle your iPad with care" but then in the next sentence it incorrectly goes "To clean iPad, unplug all cables" when it should say "To clean your iPad, unplug all cables". There are numerous mistakes like this throughout Apple's website.

    This butchering of grammar also happens in Apple ads, such as at the main page for the iPhone at Every time I hear or see something from Apple that forget adjectives, it drives me crazy because it is so obvious that they don't use correct English. It makes me think their writers are not literate. It is not "The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone." That is so plain grammatically incorrect, you would have failed English school. It should actually say "The biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the iPhone."

    Doesn't anyone at Apple grammar check?
  2. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2007
    It may be they're trying to personify the iPhone, iPad etc. by calling it iphone, ipad, as if by name. Though I guess the inconsistent treatment would still be a mistake.
  3. darster Suspended

    Aug 25, 2011
    I see nothing wrong. For example, when talking about Ukraine, people will say, "People of the Ukraine", when the correct way is "People of Ukraine".
  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I highly doubt that it is poor grammar by accident. It sounds like specific marketing speak that is purposefully consistent.
  5. SomeDudeAsking thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2010
    My working theory is that some guy from Foxconn in China that doesn't speak much English is doing the writing. I see grammar mistakes like this all the time on product packaging when I buy stuff on EBay that comes from China.

    That's totally different from what's going on here. There is only one Ukraine, there are millions of iPhones.


    So purposefully inconsistent that it doesn't even match up with the writing for the iMac? Or that it even changes mid paragraph?
  6. darster Suspended

    Aug 25, 2011
    Why place "your" in front of iPhone? The process to clean the iPhone is the same, whether it is yours or not.
  7. cwosigns macrumors 68000


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'm a stickler for grammar and spelling, but I see nothing wrong with this. The iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) are much more of an entity, for lack of a better word, than the Macintosh line.
  8. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    That was my guess. I get more pet peeved over people on boards and such misusing your/you're, it's/its and lose/loose. At least it's consistent throughout by device.
  9. SomeDudeAsking thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2010
    It's not even consistent by device. Look at my original post and read the section for the iPad. Apple changes adjective usage mid paragraph.
  10. duneriderltr450 macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2012
  11. SomeDudeAsking, Dec 15, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012

    SomeDudeAsking thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2010
    See, this is what I would expect from someone that speaks Engrish or from Froto looking for his "precious". It clearly needs an adjective before "iPhone".

    You can use "your" or "the" before referencing "iPhone" in the instructions. The problem is that Apple is not consistent and leaves out the adjectives at random and this makes their sentences look like poor English.
  12. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Yeah it is written to a target audience, or so it would appear.
  13. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    Does the phrase "Windows is shutting down" also bug you?

    And those quotes from the knowledge base aren't marketing.
  14. iPh0neTy macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2012
    They probably hired someone in China to be their website editor. Cheaper that way.
  15. Furifo macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    I always thought referring to the iPhone and the iPad as "Clean iPad" or "With iPhone you can do this" was deliberate.

    I could have sworn that when Apple execs were talking about iDevices in WWDC conferences they usually say "When we released iPad" or "Now, iPhone is even better" etc.

    Unless I'm mistaken :confused:
  16. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2007
    By calling the iPhone just iphone, and the ipad just ipad, it adds something in branding, it puts them out there more like icons, rather than just one of many smartphones or devices.
  17. SomeDudeAsking thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2010
    That is a different usage. "Windows is shutting down" is what Windows directly says to me and is correct. The docs and marketing material in my OP is a third person referencing an inanimate object (ie: an iPhone). Therefore, the material they wrote should have adjectives.

    Apple's knowledge base can be considered half marketing.
  18. stonyboys macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Anyone else notice some people on macrumors have way too much time on their hands?
  19. coolguy4747 macrumors member


    Jun 26, 2010
    Okay just for the record it's "Frodo," and you're thinking of Gollum looking for his precious. But also, get over it. Your question was "does anyone else notice this?" and you got your answer. Yes, people noticed it, and no one cares. It's obviously intentional whether you like it or not.
  20. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    This has nothing to do with grammar.

    Saying "Clean iPhone immediately" is no different from saying "Reinstall iTunes to fix the problem". By your logic, saying "Reinstall iTunes" would be incorrect, and we'd have to refer to something like "your copy of iTunes".

    It's an intentional decision to make it seem personal, almost like a friend, not poor copy or bad English. (Whether this is effective or silly is another matter.) They've been using this since the day the iPhone was announced. And they used it for years with other products before that.

    iPod (2005):

    iBook (2004):
  21. pooleman Suspended


    Jan 11, 2012
    Eastern CT
    I have a noticed a sharp increase in grammatical errors all over the place. I have seen these mistakes mostly in news articles on drudge, CNN, Foxnews, etc. I'm not sure why this is happening. Perhaps journalism schools are lowering their standard, maybe newspapers and news organizations can't afford costly editing time due to decreased revenue. Who knows?
  22. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    Heh. I've noticed the same. The NY Times even has a blog dedicated to grammar and usage errors found in their articles:
  23. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Adjective is not the word you're looking for. Don't mock someone's grammar if you won't even try to properly correct it. Also, there is nothing wrong with the quotes you presented. It's just marketing speak. Watch the iPhone commercials, they do the same thing and drop articles to make it sound like iOS products are sentient beings.
  24. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    To look at this in Star Trek terms (because why wouldn't you?) I would say this is most analogous to the difference between the USS Enterprise and the USS Voyager.

    The Enterprise was treated as a common noun while Voyager got proper noun status. For example, this is how you'd talk in an episode of the show:

    "Tomorrow the Enterprise will transfer 25 officers to Voyager."

    But you would NOT say:

    "Tomorrow Enterprise will transfer 25 officers to the Voyager."

    Why the difference? Well, it just sounds better. Is one of these wrong? No, they're both ok, it's just we're used to it one way. But if the writers wanted to switch it around, you could still say that they're right.

    So Apple has decided Macs are common nouns and iOS devices are proper nouns. Just like with Star Trek writers it's their right to do that. It's not wrong. (Or do you argue that saying "Let's get back to Voyager" is incorrect?)

    You're right that you found a mistake in the iPad section, but one mistake is hardly worth starting a whole thread over.

    I reject your notion that iOS devices can't be proper nouns. Voyager was, so why not iPhone?
  25. SomeDudeAsking thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2010
    You, sir, need an English lesson:

    Words like "my" and "your" are called adjectives.

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