I believe that if you put anything into print for a wide audience, as in the contents of a newspaper -- including the ads and notices and even the classified ads -- the material so published must meet a certain quality standard. Newspaper content must adhere to journalistic conventions, house-style rules and, of course, grammatically correct language (subject to the peculiarities of journalese which permits a headline like "Civil war hots up in Syria" or a sports page headline like "Arsenal are champs").
Likewise, ads placed in newspapers will need to have been proof-checked by persons who are sufficiently senior (I was amazed that NUS last year inserted an ad for its business school that invited candidates who -- in addition to having the usual positive endowments -- were "fast talkers"! Didn't anyone at NUS check on the idiomatic meaning of that term?).
I had intended to write a future blog entry on such shoddiness but two egregious examples today (Jan 3) -- a picture caption (ST) and an ad (TODAY) -- prompt me to fire a broadside now.
Why is this picture caption a shoddy example of journalistic practice? All we have is his name! Yet all I needed to do was to Google Mr Lee's name to establish the fact that he was a corporate lawyer with a major law firm. There was even an ST article on him in September. At the very least, the second sentence should have begun with "With the corporate lawyer's appointment...".
I think most readers will easily spot the glaring misspelling: "insonmia" instead of "insomnia". Why didn't someone at the ad agency get it right? And the full line should be rendered as "Lao Fo Ye helps me with my insomnia & hair problem".
Inspired by this story below (ST, Jan 3), I have just coined a new word, Voldermortified...
Voldermortified (past participle): to be so haunted by one's misstep or missteps that one is no longer able to enjoy a meaningful existence. After Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni shrine, Japan lost much regional goodwill and became Voldermortified.
Abe was Voldermortified. He quit his premiership and enrolled in a monastery.