Telecommunications companies prefer to call them “quick messaging phones” or “feature phones.” But anyone with a smartphone knows what they really are: dumbphones.
Now the Oxford English Dictionary is considering making the term a real word, alongside “flexitarian” and “sillage.” We’re happy about the fact Oxford kept it in one word – current style guides managed by old-world dinosuars insist on spelling smartphones and dumbphones in two words, which is actually more confusing. “You have a dumb phone!” can certainly carry a different meaning than “You have a dumbphone.”
It’s not official yet – we’ll know for sure in the next edition – but as far as we’re concerned, dumbphone is a real word. Which won’t make it easy for marketers. But hey, that’s what smartphones are for, right?