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What is the plural of iPod Touch? Should it be iPods Touch or iPod Touches?

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Added the plural tag. –  Jimi Oke Dec 22 '10 at 7:04
    

6 Answers 6

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Consider the following widely-accepted plural forms of popular Apple products whose names consist of two nouns:

  • Macbook Pros
  • iPod Shuffles
  • iPhone 4s
  • Mac Minis
  • Macbook Airs

Just as one wouldn't say Macbooks Pro, so also one shouldn't say iPods Touch. I would always go with iPod Touches. If that sounds awkward to you, then your better bet would be iPod Touch devices or, best, iPods. Most of the iPods being sold these days are of the Touch variety, anyway. More often than not, one will hear iPod Classic when the distinction wants to be made. Thus, an iPod will usually be an iPod Touch.

Also consider Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. One hears Xbox 360s (not Xboxes 360) and Playstation 3s/PS3s (not Playstations 3). Many technical writers use the words units and devices, or find other means to avoid these potentially sticky "plural" situations altogether.

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It's improper to pluralize words with an apostrophe. iPhone 4s, Playstation 3s. –  Eric Dec 22 '10 at 9:07
    
Thanks, @Eric. Edited to fix that! –  Jimi Oke Dec 22 '10 at 16:05
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@PLL: I certainly use apostrophes when pluralizing quoted or italicized words. Back in the day, I'm fairly certain, for instance, that 60's was more common than 60s. But I guess I belong to a school of ancient or erroneous thought. In the examples in my answer, though, I agree with @Eric that the apostrophes should not be there. Old habits die hard! –  Jimi Oke Dec 22 '10 at 17:15
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@Brian so you would write “I got all As”? Or, “As As are before Is, what comes before Is is As”? –  nohat Dec 22 '10 at 22:52
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@Brian Nixon: not always. Both dos and do's are correct. For dos and don'ts, the British are more likely to write do's, while in the US, it's chiefly dos! –  Jimi Oke Dec 23 '10 at 4:10

According to this Apple support document, they refer to iPod Touches

Removing all your MobileMe Sync Data will remove the data from MobileMe Calendar, MobileMe Contacts, and from any iPhones or iPod touches you are synchronizing via MobileMe over-the-air syncing.

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Thanks John, I'd have accepted this as an answer as well but I liked @Jimi's elaboration. –  tojofo Dec 22 '10 at 22:06
    
No worries, in retrospect, perhaps I should have made this a comment to Jimi's answer, so he could have incorporated it directly - live and learn :-) –  John Satta Dec 22 '10 at 22:40

iPod Touches, which matches the plural of the computer mouse, "mouses."

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...but I always use "computer mice"... –  user730 Dec 22 '10 at 6:34
    
Agree. It's most commonly mice, but, apparently, mouses is also perfectly correct! –  Jimi Oke Dec 22 '10 at 6:44
    
Surprisingly, you're right, I didn't know about "mouses" before: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mouses –  analytik Dec 22 '10 at 13:53
    
thanks also, but an elaboration like @Jimi's would have helped (made) me accept this answer earlier. –  tojofo Dec 22 '10 at 22:07
    
No problem, I meant to provide more clarification but got hung up on other things. –  brainysmurf Dec 24 '10 at 3:19

There's the RIGHT answer, and the right answer.

In English, the rule is generally (adjective) (noun), as in blue car, hot soup, and beautiful sunset. Occasionally, this rule is subverted, as in this case, wherein the noun is IPod and the adjective is Touch. In English, when you pluralize you pluralize the noun, so the correct answer is "Ipods Touch".

Having said that, you'll sound like a pretentious ass. One wouldn't go to Burger King and order two Whoppers Junior. So the accepted plural is IPod Touches, even though you're pluralizing the adjective.

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But "touch" is a verb or a noun. –  Kosmonaut Dec 22 '10 at 15:20
    
Not in this case. It refers to the model of IPod. In this case, "touch" is an adjective. –  Chris B. Behrens Dec 22 '10 at 15:46
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Sorry, but it is part of a compound noun: "iPod Touch". This is similar to the way that, in e.g. "bridge crossing", the word "bridge" is not an adjective — it is still a noun. On top of that, because you don't pluralize adjectives in English, you have direct evidence that "touch" is not being used as an adjective. –  Kosmonaut Dec 22 '10 at 16:44
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@Chris B. Behrens: Sorry, I think Williams Safire was trying to prove a moot point. Honestly, when it comes to proprietary names, it's best to treat them as compound nouns. I could easily say, "I want two Juniors". But maybe Safire was right and Burger King really named "Whooper Junior" with "Junior" there as an adjective. I would argue, though, that "Touch" does not modify "iPod". It distinguishes but doesn't modify. It's simply the name. Consider: "It's an Acura." "What model?" "It's a Legend." "Wow, an Acura Legend!" "Legend" doesn't modify "Acura". It's simply the name! –  Jimi Oke Dec 23 '10 at 1:04
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Chris, you are absolutely right: 'Touch' here is a postpositive adjective, so the plural suffix attaches to the noun it modifies, and don't let anyone tell you any different. –  Tom Anderson Apr 7 '12 at 17:51

I think "iPod Touch devices" or "Touch iPods" sounds a bit better.

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I would never use the phrase "Touch iPods" — that's simply incorrect. There's no such thing as a Touch iPod, just as there's no such thing as an Air MacBook, or a Windows by Microsoft operating system. –  ghoppe Nov 20 '11 at 20:32

My understanding is that trademarked words or phrases should never be pluralized. Companies actively discourage pluralizing of their trademarks, since that risks turning them into generic terms (Kleenex, Xerox, Dumpster, etc.)

Therefore, treat a trademark like an adjective:

iPod Touch devices or iPod Touch players

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