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PSA: Pre Puns are Played Out
by Dieter Bohn on 4/16/2009 | Filed Under: Editorials; Tags: pre, puns | 15 comments

Just over a week ago we got a glimpse at that thought process behind the naming of the Palm Pre.  My favorite part of the explanation behind the naming was that "Pre" wasn't gimicky like many of the more recent "Super Feature Phones" that have hit the market:

Lastly, and this is really important, the name doesn't try to out "cool" all the other phones in the space. It's not a "Dare" or a "Decoy" or a "Sway" or a "Juke" or a "Mirage" or whatever. Pre is more understated and allows the phone itself to take center stage. And right it should, it's an amazing phone. You don't buy this phone because it sounds cool - you buy this phone because it IS cool!1

Here here!  Yet there is one gimicky aspect the Pre name that I'm officially tired of: the Pre Puns.  The folks at Palm and at Catchword Branding had to know this would happen.  It's actually quite a smart strategy, when you think about it.  A huge amount of PR for any given device isn't aimed at us tech junkies, it's aimed at manipulating your Fox and Friends/Today Show/Morning Zoo types that don't follow these things that closely, but will mention it in a 2 minute spot with clever banter at the end.  Pre puns give these folks a chance to be clever and chuckle when they discuss a device. 

We are guilty too, of course, but ladies and gentlemen: it has to stop.  Please.  Now.

Look, I'm as much a fan of wordplay as the next guy.  More than your average bear, even.  I get a little thrill at a clever turn of phrase from the highbrow to the scatalogical.  Heck, I enjoyed the alliteration of the title of this very post.  I still think it's sort of funny to call something "punny."  If anybody should be enjoying the proliferation of pedestrian, petty Palm Pre puns percolating2 through the blogosphere, it's me.

Every day, I'm scouring the internet and the twittersphere for Pre news like an addict.  If there's a word that starts with 'pre' or even 'per,' I've seen it used in the context of this impending smartphone at least a dozen times.  It's not funny anymore, nor is it clever.  It has passed through the realms of clever pun to annoying to self-aware hipster-style irony to retro-chic to -- finally -- spirit crushing inanity.  Making a Pre pun is like asking us to leave Britney alone.  It's asking where the beef is.  It's hollering Wasssup?! into the phone. 

It has to stop.

My pledge to you: I will never make another Pre pun again.  Please join me.  No, seriously: Please.

1 Add "Instinct,"  to that list too, by the way, and many others.

2 I told you I like childish wordplay.