Ad’s in­for­mal lan­guage just wrong

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

THANKS for your ad­vice on gram­mar re­gard­ing the ADT ra­dio spot I wrote.

Funny, one thing I’ve never been called be­fore is “dim”, even by an ass­hole.

“Rob” has many mean­ings. One of which is “to steal” (Con­cise Ox­ford Dic­tio­nary).

Crit­i­cis­ing a spot for be­ing crap (in your limited opin­ion) is one thing, but talk­ing crap re lan­guage is an­other thing al­to­gether.

I ex­pect more from your finely crafted col­umn, which I never read.

I think ADT de­serves an apol­ogy. as fol­lows:

“Take prop­erty un­law­fully from (a per­son or place) by force or threat of force.”

If you read the dic­tio­nary care­fully, you will note that the us­age you re­fer to is de­scribed as “in­for­mal or di­alect”. You are pro­mot­ing the use of col­lo­quial, or in­cor­rect, lan­guage. Or just plain slop­pi­ness.

But clearly, judg­ing by your note, you are a firm be­liever in “in­for­mal” lan­guage – al­though the ad you wrote was a se­ri­ous one.

Fur­ther­more, as I pointed out (cor­rectly) in my col­umn, in a le­gal sense, rob means steal with the use of force. There is no other in­ter­pre­ta­tion in the law.

This is some­thing which some­one from a se­cu­rity com­pany should know – and like­wise, so should their agency.

And I am cer­tainly not go­ing to apol­o­gise for try­ing to stop that gen­eral South African slide into medi­ocrity.

Fi­nally, by equat­ing shoplift­ing with rob­bery, you are cheap­en­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of tens of thou­sands of South Africans who have lost their pos­ses­sions through vi­o­lence.

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