Monday, April 16, 2012
The i's of my Apples
Does anyone know what the “i” in iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. means because iDon’t.
We have Apple to thank for making the language sound more selfish than anytime in spoken history.
It’s iThis and iThat. iMean -- Aye! Yi! Yi! Yi! Yi! Me thinks it’s too much.
iThought about writing this a couple of months ago, but kept putting it off. Then today, of course, when iStarted digging around to see what the now ubiquitous “i” means iFound iMissed the boat.
Paul Aertker beat me to it. He wrote this fun Yahoo story that appeared way back in September.
Aerkter writes: “Like everyone, I have run out of words to describe the awesomeness of Apple’s iProducts. iMean who doesn't love their iPod, iPad, iMovie, iMac, iPhone, iCal, iCloud, or even iPO?
Standing in a sea of iShoppers, it hit me, really hit me. Everything was named, iSomething.
Before 2001, there was no iPod; there was no iAnything. In 1998, the iMac started the iEverything movement. Before that, Everything actually started with an 'e'.”
I’m generous in my attributions to Aerkter here because iWouldn’t want anyone to infer iStole his idea, an act that would lead them to justifiably conclude iSuck.
In fact, iCulture has even shifted the very definition of “iSuck.”
According to UrbanDictionary.com, iSuck is more noun than verb and a catch-all pejorative for any Apple product. From the site:
“iSuck -- Any Apple product that starts with an ‘i.’ Mostly derived from conversations about the iPod: ‘Wow, I can buy an iSuck for $260 on woot.com!’ (said with a hint of sarcasm).”
George Orwell wrote of a day when an all-seeing Big Brother would watch everything everyone was doing, but iDoubt even he could conceive a day when we’d be seeing i’s instead of eyes.
There’s iThinkInc.com, an online marketing research firm, and iDrink, an on-line mixology site. And the delightful and profane iQuit’s worth a look.
The now-reeling Pittsburgh Penguins feature a team of young lovelies who clean the ice between action. They’re called the Ice Crew, but if I understand sports marketing -- and iDo -- then it’s a deliberate corruption of an innocuous term to provoke men into thinking about sex (iScrew) when they should be thinking about sloppy goaltending.
Works for me.
Some i’s pre-date Apple’s iMania and lack conventional iSpelling. There’s IAM, a French hip hop band whose name means in French ‘Invasion Arrivee de Mars,” (Invasion from Mars, Mars being a metaphor for Marseille).
Stock car race fans know IROC, the International Race of Champions, the oval-track competition that in 1985 became the inspiration for the popular Camaro IROC-Z.
Ido has been around since 1907. It’s a form of communication that aspires to become a universal second language for the linguistically diverse. The Ido Wikipedia entry says there are about 100 to 200 people on the planet who are fluent in Ido, which makes it iRrelevant.
Then there’s “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do,” from “Mama Mia.”
I found a blog that seemed to have all the answers. It’s called “What does iPod Stand For?”
And you thought a blog named “Eight Days to Amish” takes narrow aim.
The site says:
“The iMac was the first Apple product to feature the leading “i” in its brand name. It was marketed as “The Ultimate Internet Appliance.”
And iApologize for all the iTalics. Hope they haven’t made you see-sick.
The “i”, it says, morphed into being more personal and self-centered, to me a sign of our increasing cultural iSolation.
Of course, that’s just me, one guy railing against the monoliths shackling the language.
iCan’t help it. To paraphrase an iConic thinker, “iYam what iYam.”
Besides the people have spoken. The i’s have it.
That’s enough for now.
I’m going to grab some breakfast to try and clear my mind.
All of a sudden I’m thinking IHOP.