Finnish Linguists Tell Apple They’re Spelling iPhone Wrong

(Credit: YLE)

(Credit: YLE)

If you thought that “Think Different” was the last time Apple was going to come under fire from the grammar police, think again!

Finland’s linguistic authorities, the Institute for the Languages of Finland — which rules on correct spellings, loan words and usages as the Finnish, Swedish, Romani and Sami languages develop — has decreed that the correct Finnish usage of iPhone is not iPhone, but rather Iphone or I-phone.

The news (which isn’t really news at all, but an amusing tidbit for grammar pedants) is the subject of debate by publication subeditor Raija Moilanen in the latest edition of the institute’s Kielikello periodical.

Previous “rulings” by Languages of Finland, as relate to capitalization, include PowerPoints as Powerpoints, LEGO as Lego, and Finnish ice hockey clubs SaiPa and KalPa as Saipa and Kalpa.

Moilanen does, however, acknowledge that she is fighting a losing battle and that, in all likelihood, Apple’s suggested spelling will become the prevailing one — even if it’s not correct.

We assume she’s an Android user.

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  • Adrayven

    Names are unique identifiers, and as such can and likely will have various spellings and modifiers, like iPhone or McGreggor. Next she’ll say all Irish should stop using multiple capitals in their last names. Unlike descriptive words describing an object, which should be uniform to help communication.

    To tell someone they are spelling a name wrong is beyond egotistical.

  • Taojones_1

    yesterday i couldn’t even spell college student now i are one!

  • Miharin

    Before everyone goes mad, remember that each language has their own rules, and that does include writing names differently even if it’s using the same latin letters. Latvian and Lithuanian languages for example write names according to their approximate pronunciation (George Walker Bush is Džordžs Volkers Bušs) even though they use the same script. They are not telling Apple that they wrote iPhone wrong; they are telling Finnish publications that when writing Finnish, they should write iPhone as Iphone. iPhone in Finnish is Iphone or I-phone.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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