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Mon, 15 Jul 2013

Lending Some Advice

"We will loan you $50. We will loan you $500. We will loan you..."

So goes the pitch of an ad I heard today on radio. If I listen to the same station for long, I am sure to hear the ad again between one song and another. The ad might repeat once a day or even once an hour. I don't know.

I do know that "loan" is a noun. "Lend" is the related verb I was taught. A bank or some other finance company can lend you money. It can give you a loan. The concepts are related, for sure. Still, the agency cannot be forgiven for bad word usage. The bank does not give you a lend. The finance company does not loan you money. Yet, the ad says they do. The ad airs again and again.

I'm sure you could accuse me of remembering more about words than many people do. However, ad agencies are word professionals. I am bothered that advertising agencies have time to prepare their scripts. The ad isn't recorded off the cuff. It isn't a one shot deal. The agencies hire actors, actors who read a written script. They are not making up the ad as they stand at the microphone. Even if the agencies use the CEO as the face or voice of the company, they still can do several takes to get it right.

That means that there is NO EXCUSE for them to say "loan" when they mean "lend." Advertising reaches large audiences, with any luck. A large audience is, therefore, subjected to hearing bad word usage, again, and again, and again.

All the hard work of English teachers is overridden by the barrage of poor usage by advertising professionals, you know, the ones who are experts in their field. A loan company knows loans. They know about lending practices, They have the experience of training in their specific field. Advertisers are professionals with words and cannot be forgiven for confusing nouns and verbs.

Boycotts are probably not going to work. People who need to borrow money are going to do it without regard for the misuse of words in an ad. On the other hand, maybe some of you reading this are employed by or work with ad agencies. Let them know there are people out here who care.

By the way, this issue isn't limited to loans and lending. Pay attention. Thanks.

posted at: 19:50 | path: | permanent link to this entry