Apple’s internal style guide makes the news and we’re dumber for it

Apple VP Phil Schiller made tech blog headlines for a recent tongue in cheek discussion with journalists on Twitter about how to pluralize Apple product names. It’s no surprise that Apple has an internal style guide it uses to make sure that references to its own products are consistent; it’s also no surprise that in a system filled with individual human beings that use their own interpretation of language to communicate, that even Apple is occasionally inconsistent in its implementation.

I got kind of fed up and posted this on Twitter:

I watched this story unfold with a fair degree of irritation, and it finally struck me as to why.

It’s because my role as a tech journalist, I lost track of the number of times that a well-meaning, inevitably junior PR rep would contact me to let me know that I’d misused their client’s name or trademark: it’s intercapped, or it’s all capitalized, or the i at the start, in the middle or at the end is always lower case, etc.

As a blogger and magazine writer, I’m beholden to my publication’s own style guide – or whatever style standard we’ve agreed to (like AP or Chicago), before whatever mishigas your marketing department has come up with.

2 thoughts on “Apple’s internal style guide makes the news and we’re dumber for it

  1. Contact did not come up. On the hard drive story U did not mention that they shake the whole building when they operate. At DuPont film plant Tecumseh Kansas 1958-78 I was on light duty in the computer room. The lights on the 4X8 board flashed like a Christmas tree and the hard drive in the washing machine jumped around. I asked if they could make it search in a better fashion and they said no. DuPont sent 2 to IBM to learn the system and programming. The smart asses programmed it to crash once a week about Wed. at 02:00 so they could get call in and overtime. They were found out and fired. Do you think intel will make a SSD with stacked chips? Page did not print correct on my Dell optiplex 980 Win-7-64 hp envy photo 7155 FB rexbahr an 86 Y/O Dis. Vet. Cold War Warrior> &

  2. When I started >1970s< the only computer we could buy was Apple and they only place we can buy 1 is at Radio Shack. We had to do our own programming so I sent my grand son to learn at their school He learned how to do three blind mice on the key board but he did not grasp how important computer were going 2B so we are poor as church mice. I have patent 6446422 and 10525174 +

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