Endorsing Bad Grammar

Don’t you find some advertisements very irritating? Anywhere we go, we see advertisements. If we go outside our house, we see them on billboards, projection screens, public transportation vehicles, and even on walls. If we are inside our homes, we are drained with tons of advertisements on the internet and on television. But the question is, what makes an advertisement so irritating? Is it the product? Is it the model? Is it the motto? In my opinion, the most irritating part of an advertisement are the grammatical errors; both English and Tagalog.

Let’s think of it this way: It takes several months for an advertisement to be launched. How come advertisers weren’t able to revise the grammatical errors? Based from what has been stated, we can arrive with two reasons: either it is intentional or unintentional.

If these grammatical errors were intentionally expressed, the advertisers probably wanted it to sound more hilarious. Take for example the Old Spice Commercial shown by the link above. In the commercial, the narrator said, “For hair and/or body, or both.” It is wrong because it is very redundant. For a company like Old Spice, they wouldn’t let this ruin their reputation. Which is why in my opinion, they intentionally did it to give humor to the audience.

On the other hand, if it was shown unintentionally, then nobody from the advertising agency realized that it was an error. As an example, let’s look at this ad made by The History Channel. The ad says, “The pilgrims are worth a lot more then a turkey dinner.” They used then instead of than. If it was just a typographical error, then they should hire a proofreader to check.

These are just 2 of the many advertisements in the world that have bad grammar. Realizing the fact that they still make mistakes in their own native language could be very annoying on our part as Filipinos. But ironically speaking, even we have this kind of problem.

Behind these “advertizing failures” that we are seeing, we observe the grammar deficiency of Filipinos nowadays. Filipinos find it difficult to express themselves in pure English and in pure Tagalog. The unfortunate thing about it is that the youth, who are over-exposed to these type of media, would become worse.

Here in the Philippines, we see more than a handful of cases that observe wrong grammar each day. Sometimes, it is better to use Tagalog instead of wrong English. According to the picture on the right, it says, “Beware of fallen objects.” The statement is wrong because they used “fallen” instead of “falling.”

Sometimes, the grammar isn’t the problem. In this case, most of the words in the ad are misspelled. Probably, the reason why these words are spelled like that is because they pronounce it that way. If a person sees this and realizes the error, that person would feel irritated and yet sad about it.

There are many ways in which we could help. As citizens of our country, we can help by correcting these simple mistakes. It is important for us to know these mistakes because we would all end up doing the same mistakes when we grow up if we don’t observe. In terms of the government, these events would serve as their guide to know what our country’s stance when it comes to education.

As a conclusion, as irritating as it may sound or see, we must all remember that this gives a bad image both to the people and to the country. Together with the government, we can help change the world by simply fixing these minor problems.

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