June 24, 2008

Apple and the Appalling Apostrophe

As some of you may know, I'm kind of an Apple fan. I have been using Macs since I was four years old — way before they were cool, obviously — and have a healthy well of respect for the company despite the numerous times I have suffered at their evil-bastard-hood. Charging iPod Touch users for software updates was bad enough, though that wasn't the worst thing they've ever done to me — let me weave you a tale.

When I was fifteen or so I was a lonely kid, and one of my many extremely cool hobbies was running a small website devoted to all things Mac. I wrote software reviews, created art on a Mac, provided links to other Mac websites... It was fantastic, let me tell you. And it had an awesome name, too: ".Mac". I came up with that all by myself, and was pretty damn proud of it. I'd soon attracted the attention of two other teenage Mac geeks and before long we were publishing a monthly newsletter, hosted, on the initiative of one of my co-authors, at www.dotmac.com.

This must have been in late 1999.

So then, in 2002, a few months before Apple's .Mac service was made public, they sent us a cease-and-desist letter claiming that we were infringing on their Mac trademark. Except "cease-and-desist letter" doesn't really capture the tone they used therein, which was actually extremely pleasant. They even offered us £300 to give up the domain! To three eighteen-year-olds, this was exciting stuff. £100 each! Just imagine all the beer! So we gladly accepted and the cheque was soon in the mail.

And then Apple launched their $100 a year subscription service and promptly made ten squillion dollars. £300 must have seemed like a pretty good investment for them. Needless to say I was pretty pissed. It was pretty much the dirtiest trick Apple has ever pulled, as far as I'm concerned — bribing children! They may as well have offered us a bag of candy each. And yet, despite all that, I've still bought three Macs and three iPods since. I even caved and bought a .Mac subscription eventually — though, man, am I bitter about it.

Now, though, they have gone too far:

With your PARENT'S money?! Unless daddy cheated on mommy and is paying your tuition in alimony, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the copy should read: "with your PARENTS' money." What a boneheaded, unbelievable, glaring mistake. Poor show, Apple. Poor show.

Ahem. I will now purchase a new iPod.


Anonymous said...

I went to the Apple store to complain but I left with a shirt made of iMacs.

Patrick said...

Maybe Mac needs to borrow the nerdy PC guy's grammar tools.

Andrew said...

Vinny: I love those iMac shirts! I have a whole wardrobe full of 'em! Do you have the FileMaker Pro pants, too?

T. Ruby: Nah, the PC's grammar tools aren't much better. See?

Patrick said...

I know. I just saw an opening to take a shot at the stupid "Hi, I'm a Mac" kid, with his long hair and t-shirts. I love my iBook too, but don't you just kinda feel bad for the pudgy old PC guy?

Anonymous said...

I'm more offended that Apple thinks parents' money purchased this student's numerous Mac-tastic products. And maybe they were expressing solidarity for single parents putting their kids through college, or maybe they assume one parent holds the financial reins in each household. Don't be so quick to assume they have no grasp of grammar!

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