People in glass houses
OOPS PAUL! The criticism of “Colourful Creative” for “dreadful use of English” (Saturday Star, October 24) calls to mind a story of a mote and a beam.
The piece contains some quite fundamental errors of grammar and sentence construction! First, “not only” in a sentence should usually be followed later by “but also”.
Second “having worked in advertising agencies here and overseas”, is a participial phrase which ought to be linked to something else. As used in Paul’s sentence, it is floating, structurally and grammatically unconnected.
Then, third, he cannot decide whether “Colourful Creative” is singular or plural: “He/she states they have…” I did not get the sense that the original article implied the expression of a group experience.
Paul does not claim to be a copywriter, so his errors can be overlooked. In any event, he probably has access to someone else who vets his use of language before it goes to his clients.
The issue of correct English language usage is an arena especially fraught with problems in this country, where only a very small majority have English as their mother tongue, and an accommodating approach is surely required in responding to the aspirations of would-be entrants into the media. Clearly there is no suggestion of that from Paul.
He has chosen not to respond to the concerns expressed by “Colourful Creative”, but to criticise the use of English. This too, to me, “smacks of a typical South African malaise” – avoid the issue, and find some way to divert the discussion.
I sympathise with “Colourful Creative”. I did not find the language of the article “immature and dreadful”.
The writer will probably be even more disillusioned to know there is at least one “creative director” in the industry who is less interested in ideas than he is in correct grammar, when he assesses potential.
Have I been wrong in thinking that what gets our advertising industry all its international acclaim is creativity, no matter the language used.
To “Coloured Creative” I say: I hope you find a warm, developmentorientated environment where you will be given support, advice and encouragement, and not be a victim of the sort of pretentious dismissiveness that your article has evoked by way of response.