Jan 24, 2007

Writers Who Can't Write

Blame it on the trend towards “global” concepts—ads that rely on visuals rather than words. Or web banners that don’t require full sentences. Whatever it is, it’s led to a plethora of copywriters who can’t string 2 or 3 sentences together to make a coherent paragraph.

I’m seeing this all too often as I look at the books and websites of prospective writers. Or when I get a simple paragraph block that looks like it was written by someone for whom English is their third or fourth language. I’m not talking stylistic embellishments here, friends, I’m talking basic grammar: using correct verb tenses and pronouns and words that exist in the English language. (e.g. “differenter” is not a word unless you’re using it to mimic the speech of a 3 year old.)

And it baffles me, in a Parkerian manner, that someone with such poor writing skills would decide that being an advertising writer was the career for them. Many “someones.” I mean people who are bad at math don’t become accountants. At a time when we desperately need more good content, with writing that’s clear and coherent and interesting, we’re being inundated by writers who aren’t proficient at any of those things.

Which I guess makes life easier for those who are.

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