By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm
I get along pretty well with copy editors and other grammar experts, but I’m not a language snob myself–I enjoy using and abusing words, and making up my own ones when I don’t know of any existing ones that will suffice.
So I hereby officially approve of Apple’s tagline for the new, slimmer iPod Touch: “The funnest iPod ever.” Sure, “The Most Fun iPod Ever” is grammatically unassailable and means the same thing. But it’s nowhere near as…fun.
And I think that Apple’s probably in the clear given that Merriam-Webster does mention funnest as an acceptable (albeit unusual) inflection of fun.
If “The funnest iPod ever” proves to be unpopular with word pros, it’ll be the second time an Apple slogan has been linguistically controversial: “Think Different” provided lots of fodder for debate. It’s also as good a candidate as any for Apple’s most famous tagline ever–so I suspect that the company will weather any gripes that come their way concerning funnest. If it starts calling the new Nano “the most thin iPod ever,” we’ll know it’s just being difficult.
(Side note: Years ago, Wendy’s adopted the slogan “Ain’t no reason to go anyplace else,” and I remember lots of flack about the use of ain’t from teachers and others with a professional interest in proper grammar; Wendy ended up dropping it. I think America has gotten a lot more easy-going about language over the last few decades.)
The other thing that’s interesting–and yes, even fun–about “The funnest iPod ever” is its suggestion that Apple is going to be really serious about mobile gaming. At the moment, we think of the iPod Touch as a music player that also does video and applications; I wonder if Apple’s goal is to get folks thinking of it as a handheld gaming device first. Maybe even the handheld gamingest device ever.
And aw heck, let’s make a T-Poll out of this: