Overanalyzing Steve Jobs’ grammar gaffe: missing helper verb in iPad presentation

If you’ve actually watched the video of Apple’s iPad Special Event Keynote from yesterday (January 27, 2010), you probably noticed a few unpolished spots, like the Brushes developer being a little nervous with shaking hands while on stage (understandable), the N.O.V.A. game demonstration when the first time they attempted to fling a grenade using a “simple two-fingered, multitouch gesture” failed, and the very noticeable missing bit of Flash on this—”the best way to browse the web” aka “it’s like holding the internet in your hands”—device that is supposed to offer a better internet experience than either smartphones or notebooks (newsfash, Steve: You may detest Flash, as many do, but it is still a very active part of the internet). All in all, it wasn’t as polished a presentation as we’re used to from Apple.

It wasn’t even nearly as polished as it sounded from all the verging-on-fanboy-coverage of the event coming from the people who were live blogging it. For example, Ryan Block’s two asides near the end of his GDGT coverage:

Yeah, you know, this video does a pretty good job of putting this stuff in perspective. iPad is pretty amazing — there, I said it.”

And then, again:

Will people buy it in droves? Is there actually room for a device between smartphones and laptops? That I don’t know — I’ve always been skeptical there’s room for a third category in there. But if there is a contender for this space, the iPad is it.

That’s too much fanboy reporting in response to a commercial followed by too strong of a prediction based on no actual time spent with the device itself (“if there is a contender for this space, the iPad is it”) undercut by a nice future escape should the prediction prove wrong (“I’ve always been skeptical”).

However, one moment in particular from the Keynote really grabbed my attention: the very brief amount of time that Steve Jobs spent demoing actually typing on the device, and the grammatical mistake he made while rushing through the experience in which he clearly said “oops” as he missed a space. Steve Jobs wrote:

Wow, we really announcing the iPad!”

Something about the way he rushed through typing this, the way he left out the helping verb “are” that was needed for the sentence to be correct, and the short list of people to whom he addressed the quick email make me think that Steve’s not completely satisfied with the current state of the iPad and that this just might have been a little bit of passive-aggressiveness aimed at his colleagues. That thought would seem to be bolstered somewhat by the device not only not being available yet, but the fact that the device isn’t even available for pre-order yet. There’s just a “notify me when it’s available” email form on Apple’s site.

I can’t remember the last time Apple announced something in this odd way.

Multiple reactions to the iPad and the video of Apple’s Special Event are flooding Techmeme right now.

About C.K. Sample III

I am a father, a husband, a blogger, a parrot owner, a pug owner, and the VP of Technology/Engineering for Chaotic Moon. This site has no comments. If you want to talk to me, send me an @cksample on Twitter. If you like this post, feel free to send me a micropayment via Bitcoin.
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2 Responses to Overanalyzing Steve Jobs’ grammar gaffe: missing helper verb in iPad presentation

  1. dsf says:

    WAY over analyzing. bad article. the ‘fanboy’ you quoted was weak. thats not a mac fanboy.

  2. Fill says:

    Have you seen Steve Jobs usual public emails/IMs? You are lucky if they aren’t either of the single words “yes” or “no”! ;’)

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