The Mini Is Not ‘Miniscule’

Apple just announced the Mac mini (which, thinking about it for a minute is bound to draw cracks about Mini-Me). Although I’m not given to copious salivation over tech devices, this machine seems very cool: It’s only 6.5 by 6.5 by 2 inches, it’s a fully loaded computer (basic model comes with a 1.25-gigahertz G4 processor, 40-gigabyte hard drive, Ethernet connectivity, and USB and Firewire ports) and is going for $499. Monitor, keyboard, mouse, and wireless capability extra. Even with all that, I’m sure you can get away with a full system for less than $1,000.

But the real reason I’m writing about this has nothing to do the interesting little Mac box. It has to do with this sentence from the Mac mini page: “And it boasts a miniscule price to match: Mac mini starts at $499.”

No: That’s m-i-n-u-s-c-u-l-e. With a “u.” (Pre-emptively, I reject the suggestion that it’s OK to misspell the word to stay consistent with or highlight the product name.)

Thank you.

5 Replies to “The Mini Is Not ‘Miniscule’”

  1. Funny. In the past, I’ve pointed out spelling errors that I’ve found on the Apple news site (http://www.apple.com/hotnews/) to a friend of mine who works in Apple PR, only to never see changes made. I also have met the guy who edits/runs Apple’s website, and he’s no dummy (he’s not my PR friend, either). The site editor is a pretty seasoned pro, with a background in journalism.
    It’s also a well-known rumor that all things go through Steve Jobs in Cupertino, so maybe he’s to blame for the bad or cutesy spelling. Or, maybe he just needs a better copy editor. Intentionally misspelled words, corporate or otherwise, are a big pet peeve of mine, because it’s so EZ to be clever without being lame, or appearing to be dum.

  2. Enjoy this tidbit from the iPod Shuffle product page (apple.com/ipodshuffle) which shows the product adjacent to some packs of chewing gum.
    Bottom of page, grey text, the “fine print” instructs us: “Do not eat iPod Shuffle”
    mmmm, ipooodddd.

  3. Interestingly, they’ve managed to spell it correctly on the Aus & NZ Apple sites but not on the US & UK sites. I don’t know if “miniscule” is acceptable in American English (dictionary.com seems to suggest that it is), but it’s certainly not in British English.

  4. As far as I know, “miniscule” is incorrrect on this side of the Atlantic, too. In fact, it’s listed in my “Webster’s New World Dictionary” (Third College Edition.” The definition, which includes the usual pronunciation guide, is given as “erroneous sp. of MINUSCULE.”
    Which leads me to wonder how many misspellings are listed in this dictionary. Because I think a lot of people would have the tendency to find a word and not even look at the definition before proclaiming, “Ha! Here it is! Right in the dictionary!”

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