Ritchie Ritchie Rene Ritchie has been covering Apple and the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editorial director for Mobile Nations, analyst for iMore, video and podcast host, you can follow him on Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter @reneritchie.

How do you get Apple pedants and tech pubs to fall all over themselves? If you're Phil Schiller, you reply to a tweet...

Phil Schiller is Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. Yesterday and today, though, he also proved his Twitter game is tight. It started much as these things do — with iMore's own Michael Gartenberg cracking wise.

Here's the part, right up front, where we pause for context.

Up until January, Gartenberg worked at Apple — directly for Phil Schiller. So, suffice it to say, they know each other well. Also, like all good people, Gartenberg likes the West Wing and Aaron Sorkin. A lot. To wit:


[enters] The plural of Surgeon General isn't Surgeon Generals, it's Surgeons General. Like Attorneys General, or courts martial.

So here's where Phil Schiller decides to have some fun:

Schiller was riffing on Apple branding guidelines, which say just that about pluralization:

Always use the Apple product names iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in singular form. Never say iPhones, iPads, or iPod touches.

Though Schiller refrained from adding the laughing/crying emoji to his tweet, if you pay attention to his choice of language he returned Gartenberg's serve with an overhand smash.

Then, Twitter being Twitter, there was interjection.

As anyone who's used Twitter for any time well knows, make a salient or insightful point and nobody responds. Make a typo, and hundreds leap to correct you. Schiller, to his credit, decided to have some fun:

Note, in Apple's branding guidelines, the company doesn't claim iPhone, iPad, and iPod are both singular and plural forms, simply that the brands should only be used in the singular. And those guidelines are for partner marketing copy. Read any Apple press release or watch any Apple event and you'll see how the company in general, and Phil Schiller in particular, refers to Apple products when speaking.

Because Twitter conversations can seem personal even when in public, and the public can watch personal conversations between old colleagues, confusion can ensue.

On Twitter, it can result in an endless stream of grammatical opinions and condemnations. On the web, where the race to get Apple into any headline possible prevents any amount of sanity from keeping up, it can result in:

Yes, Phil Schiller is a public figure, and yes that means people can and will take what he says on Twitter and do what they want with it. But I can't help but love the snowball effect this troll had. From tweaking Gartenberg to nudging a pedant, to the tempest in the tweetpot that followed, it was one of funniest moments on the Apple-net this week.