14

I know which is linguistically correct, but I want to know what you guys prefer to use here.

So:
MacBook Pros or MacBooks Pro?
iPod Touches or iPods Touch?
AirPort Extremes or AirPorts Extreme?

Et cetera.

(Please let me know if there's some other way for me to get these little nitpicky questions addressed. I'm asking this one here because chat is pretty inactive at the moment.)

11

Here's how I would do it:

"I have a MacBook Pro."
"I have four MacBook Pros."
"I have an iPod Touch."
"I have eight iPod Touches."

..etc. I would use the natural plural if there are more than one. It looks weird, but "I have four MacBooks Pro," looks even weirder to me.

  • 1
    So "MacBooks Pro", which is technically grammatically correct (like Attorneys General), is just sort of out of the picture? – hairboat Jul 29 '11 at 15:19
  • @Abby I'd say so. But, I've got no source for any of this so I may be totally wrong. – Nathan Greenstein Jul 29 '11 at 15:25
  • I'll take your word for it. I'm just wondering about the preference of Apple.SE's top users - not really worried about what the official company line is. Thanks! – hairboat Jul 29 '11 at 15:27
  • 3
    We'll vote you off the island if "MacBooks Pro" enters use; for that is something up with which we will not put. Grammatical excellence has a limit :-). – bmike Jul 29 '11 at 18:36
  • To me "macbook pros" looks and sounds weirder. – kinokijuf Dec 18 '11 at 11:14
9

It seems most people go with "MacBook Pros", so I'd go with that:

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Good question though!

3

John Gruber of Daring Fireball refers to the iPhones 6, the iPhones 7, the iPhones XS and so on, as a more elegant form of words than "the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus" or "the iPhone XS and XS Max":

The last four years, I’ve coyly titled my iPhone reviews “The iPhones 6”, “The iPhones 6S”, “The iPhones 7”, and “The iPhones 8”. That’s not how most people would pluralize these iPhone pairs (but some would — there’s some legitimate precedent with pluralizations like “mothers-in-law” and “attorneys general” where the adjective comes after the noun).

So I would expect most people to say MacBook Pros, but feel free to call them MacBooks Pro if you and your audience find it amusing.

  • Hah, this is good to know! Thanks for the reference. I think I'll stubbornly go with the Gruber pronunciation. – hairboat Mar 12 at 14:13
2

The correct way to refer to the plural of "MacBook Pro" is MacBook Pros.

Pluralize Nouns

MacBook Pro is a noun (a proper noun to be exact) and in the English language, nouns are pluralized. For example:

  • laptop ⇒ laptops
  • iPad ⇒ iPads
  • Mac Pro ⇒ Mac Pros

The easiest way to identify that it's a proper noun is that it's the marketing name of the product.

Postpositive Adjectives

Adjectives, will generally precede a noun as they describe it. For example: general contractor, managed device, and associate developer are all examples of an adjective describing the following noun.

Where the confusion comes in when we refer to (the handful) of adjectives that antecede the noun like the all to familiar attorneys general, surgeons general or courts-martial. These adjectives are normally reserved for positions in government, nobility or the military.

These are called postpositive adjectives where the adjective follows the noun.

  • surgeons general ⇒ multiple "general" surgeons
  • accounts payable ⇒ multiple "payable" accounts
  • sergeants major ⇒ multiple "major" sergeants

If (somehow) we were to apply this to tech, we would use something like the following:

"MacBook Pros managed" ⇒ multiple "managed" MacBook Pros; but that is what sounds weird.

Finally, the authority on this matter spell it out in their legal document Guidelines for Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights

Rules for Proper Use of Apple Trademarks As adjectives, trademarks may not be used in the plural or possessive form.

Correct: I bought two Macintosh computers.

Not Correct: I bought two Macintoshes.

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