Is “G” the new “i”?

December 20, 2009 at 2:10 am / by

The oughties were the “i” decade. Apple got the ball rolling with its first iMac in 1998. It was a game changer and the “i” prefix is now almost a generic indicator that a product wants to be associated with the internet. It was simple: “i” means you, “i” means the internet: you are the internet. Oh my!

Lately, Apple has been doing battle with the letters “PC”, but the real threat has been coming from the letter “G” which is hoping to dethrone the ubiquitous “i” as the indicator of all things new and better. We know what “G” means, Google. Right? Or does it stand for green? There is of course the Gphone and Gmail. Is a green Google phone too much of a good thing? While we’re on the topic of green, we have G-Diapers, the green alternative. Gatorade will soon have its G-Series, is that about gravity? Not sure. Of course, it doesn’t stop there. Specially trained guinea pigs from G-Force have been assigned by the G-20 to stop Ali-G.

G of course has potential liabilities. For New Yorkers the G-train is the train to nowhere. And then there is the whole sex thing. G-spot anyone? (It’s over here.) The G-phone has the potential to give new meaning to phone sex. Is that a good thing? Google will also have to be careful to distance itself from Kenny G. The late, great, GM division Pontiac swapped storied names like Grand Am and Bonneville for alphanumerics starting with (you guessed it) G; G6, G8. Guess it didn’t help the sales slide.

Just like Google, the letter G means everything and nothing. A letter in search of it’s own identity.


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