Being an ‘early adapter’ (toes curling now) is one of those expressions that some English speakers can’t get right, but that many Dutch speakers keep using incorrectly over and over again. Before anyone goes all ‘everything’s relative’ on me, let me quote this wonderful saying: “If a million people do a stupid thing, it’s still a stupid thing to do”. And the truth is, if a Dutch text uses this expression in English, I tend to doubt the rest of what they are saying if they are that careless. It’s just a natural reflex.
Here’s a Dutch example of the failed vowel shift. You can search for “early adapter” on the Intertubes and get more people who have no clue what they are saying.
I’ve have enough of reading and hearing this mistake, so it’s time to get it straight once and for all.
“An â€œearly adopterâ€ (with an ‘o’!) is a person who quickly adopts something new, like a technological innovation or using a new bit of software. For example, the folks, including myself who were using Twitter more than a year ago, would be considered in the Netherlands “early adopters”.
There’s no such concept as an â€œearly adapterâ€. If I had to make it up, it would be someone who adapted/redid/rewrote something first, but it’s usually someone who means “early adopter”.