September 26th, 2008
When Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, called the latest iPod Touch the “funnest iPod ever,” some people got angry. “Fun is just a noun, not an adjective,” they said, “even if you’re Steve Jobs.” Grammar Girl jumped in and argued that “fun” is turning into an adjective, and “funnest” will soon be acceptable. Then the linguists picked apart the word’s history — but not before T-Mobile and Google started making fun of Apple. They called their new Android G1 phone “connecteder” and “funnerer”.
Can Jobs get away with calling it the “funnest” iPod? The answer to that question lies not in a musty grammar-book, but in the ears of his audience. My guess is that young techies will think, “Funnest! An odd word to see in print! But this iPod is so fun you forget about rules” — and Jobs will have won his point.
Can YOU get away with using “funnest”? Again, consider your audience. You’re at risk for sounding lazy, flip, or too informal if you use it when writing for your boss, customers, or professionals in other companies.
As for the “funnerer” phone? I laughed.