Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Diferent, Diference (for Different, Difference)

Think different, Apple's computer ads used to say, and that's generally good advice, especially for you creative or would-be creative types. Although it's just a different way of saying, "Think outside the box." Diferent shows up nine times in OhioLINK and Diference twice. Wikipedia points out that "some believe a grammatically correct version of the slogan would be: 'Think Differently.' However, the word different was not intended to be an adverb in this case but rather a 'fanciful category' like 'Think Playful' or 'Think Change.'" The phrase gave rise to numerous parodies, such as one by culture jammer Ron English in which the usual icons were replaced by pictures of Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and Bill Gates. While there are some cases of "difference" that should be applauded, abbreviating this word by leaving out an F probably isn't one of them. (Although simplified-spelling zealot Melvil Dui might just disagree.)

(Different-looking Apple icon, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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