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Just a Thought - Pondering Apple Portmanteaus

by

- June 22nd, 2005

The Mac community loves controversy. We thrive on debating the merits, or lack thereof, of all things Apple. So it is of no surprise that we find ourselves in the midst of a rigorous debate over which term to use for Apple's new Intel-based Macs; 'MacIntel' or 'Mactel'?

I thought I'd fire up a few extra brain cells and examine the two terms on their relative merits to see which, in my humble opinion, truly does qualify to be the unofficial name of Apple's new Macs. I try not to use to many brain cells too often; it hurts and I need to save as many as possible for old age.

Is that MacIntel?

At first glance, 'MacIntel' seems to be best choice; it combines the names , 'Macintosh' and 'Intel' right at the 'in', thus making it seem as a logical compound of the two words.

But if we study this word a bit closer we find that the compound seems to emphasize the 'Intel' portion of the combination; "Mac-INtel". It almost sounds as if someone screwed the Mac part onto the Intel part as an afterthought, and we know that just ain't so.

Or Mactel?

The term 'Mactel', on the other hand, correctly emphasizes the Mac as the major player, yet it does not diminish Intel's contribution. 'Mac-tel' says that the computer we are referring to is a Mac, but with Intel inside, which is exactly what we want to say: The Mac is the major system, and the Intel processor is a subsystem of note, and the distinguishing factor that separates the system from any other Mac.

Humph! That didn't hurt so bad!

OK, so that's my reasoning for sticking with the term 'Mactel'. Until Bryan, my illustrious editor, or someone from Apple tells me different, that's what I will call Apple's new boxes. But I'm a flexible type of guy; if you can come up with a compelling reason why it should be 'MacIntel', or 'IntelMac', or 'Charley' let me hear about it.

is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

You can send your comments directly to me, or you can also post your comments below.

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