What happened to the gatekeepers of the English language? Have they all retired and been replaced by drones? Actually, drones would probably be an improvement on the sad state of what is now acceptable in advertising.
Today’s example: A local restaurant ran a newspaper ad containing the misuse of a word so severe that my brain actually turned to polenta. I had to read the thing three times before I could figure out what it meant.
Instead of describing their pinot noir-enjoying clientele quaffing samples while blindfolded, the ad invites them to comparatively coif blindfolded. All I could picture were people feeling each other’s elaborate hairdos with bangs covering their eyes.
This mistake could have been avoided in one of three easy ways:
1. The restaurant could have hired a copywriter (me, for instance)
2. The newspaper could hire a proofreader
3. The person who wrote the ad could have used a dictionary
Every day, I see ads with missing punctuation, gratuitous quotation marks, and the ever-present apostrophe used to indicate plural. And every day, I’m nearer the point where they no longer will cause heart palpitations. This is not a good thing, mind you.
Today’s ad made me feel hopeless. Because I am realizing that we who care about proper language use and professional advertising standards are an endangered species.
Then again, there might be a market for us; perhaps it’s in that beautiful world they show in the Prius ads, where all the trees are made of people and the butterflies are children, and where zero emissions and correct use of the English language are the order of the day.