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Thanks, Apple: ‘Bokeh’ is Now a Verb


If you were annoyed by Apple’s pronunciation of the word ‘bokeh,’ then you may be doubly peeved by the company’s latest iPhone ad. This 38-second TV spot turns ‘bokeh’ into a verb.

In the ad, a mother is surprised to find that another woman has “bokeh’d” her child by using the iPhone’s Depth Control feature to blur him out in the background.

“Did you… bokeh my child?” she asks indignantly, causing the other mother to become flustered and apologetic.

“Depth Control on iPhone XS and iPhone XR lets you adjust the bokeh effect on backgrounds before or after you shoot,” Apple says. “So you can turn a cute portrait of two kids into a stunning portrait of one kid.”

Here’s Webster’s current definition for bokeh:

bokeh noun: the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field

Perhaps Webster will soon need to add a second definition:

bokeh verb: exclude (someone) from a photograph by blurring them into an unidentifiable figure in the out-of-focus background using a (real or simulated) shallow depth of field

The ad certainly does a good job of communicating what Depth Control does, but it seems that disgruntled photographers are revolting against this use of ‘bokeh’: at the time of this writing, the video has nearly 10,000 dislikes to 26,000 likes — an unusually high dislike rate of about 28%.

(via Apple via The Online Photographer)