BlackBerry Grammar: BlackBerrys, BlackBerries, BlackBerry's or what?
The fact that our favorite smartphones are named after a fruit is a little comical to some. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a "life was simpler when Apple and BlackBerry were just fruits" tweet, I'd have a lot of nickels. Jokes aside, many people refer to the plural of BlackBerry in so many different ways which, while annoying to me, is understandable because of the fact that the brand name "BlackBerry" ends in a "y". So what is the technically and grammatically correct way to pluralize our devices?
According to grammar professors all over the country, in the English language when a regular noun ends in a "y" its plural form drops the last letter "y" and adds "ies" instead. (With some exceptions like "key", "toy"; etc).
- army > armies
- puppy > puppies
- supply > supplies
So when referring to our phones in the plural do we apply this rule? No, we do not because the brand name "BlackBerry" is a proper noun. This rule does not apply to proper nouns as we will see later. If we were to be referring to the blackberry fruit, then yes, the plural blackberries is correct.
So how about an apostrophe and an "s" ('s)? That is technically correct but only when using it in the possessive form not to pluralize. That means when you're talking about something that belongs to the BlackBerry (just in case).
- My BlackBerry's trackball is stuck.
- I love how long my BlackBerry's battery lasts.
We're referring to one (1) BlackBerry and its trackball or battery. So obviously we cannot use the apostrophe and "s" to make it plural. Next option...
Though it may look weird to some, calling our devices "BlackBerrys" might actually be the correct way to do it. Why do I say "might"? Well there's a couple of different angles we can look at this from. One angle is that in the English language, when a proper noun that ends in a "y", like a last name, needs to be pluralized, you simply add an "s."
- The Murphys are coming over tomorrow.
- The Grays are actually pretty funny.
So if we can consider a brand name to be similar to a last name, because both are proper nouns, then it's logical to simply add an "s" to make it plural.
- I hate iPhones and Droids, I only love BlackBerrys.
To add to this, if we're referring to multiple BlackBerrys in the possessive form we add the apostrophe after the "s".
- I'm gonna change all of my BlackBerrys' bezels today.
Here we're referring to multiple BlackBerrys individual bezels (plural plus possessive).
BlackBerry smartphones or devices
Now, some may feel that this is just simply incorrect and think brand names are not like last names at all so the rule doesn't apply and that's totally fine. I know I did before I actually looked up some English articles. (check one out here, and another one here). Whenever I needed to pluralize BlackBerry I would simply take RIM's official route and add "smartphones" or "devices" after the word BlackBerry. That's obviously completely correct and if you use that already then keep going.
While I personally like grammar, I know I probably make a lot grammatical mistakes (even in this article, ironic?) but I like finding out what could and would work and this has been a pretty interesting topic in my opinion for a little bit. Hopefully reading this wasn't like homework for the rest of you.