A lack of imagination

Does the advertising industry lack the capacity to write entire sentences? Have they forgotten — or never been taught — basic subject-verb-object construction?

A few years back there was a trend towards adding the suffix “-ize” to nouns to convert them to verbs. The then-grammar police took an all-or-nothing approach and said that “-ize” was essentially meaningless and should be avoided at all costs.

Strunk & White, in The Elements of Style, also takes on “-ize”: “Do not coin verbs by adding this tempting suffix. Many good and useful verbs do end in -ize: summarize, fraternize, harmonize, fertilize…Never tack -ize onto a noun to create a verb…Why say utilize when there is the simple, unpretentious word use?”

Why have I gone into such detail on “-ize” when there isn’t one to be found in this ad? Had this been a few years ago, they may have easily used the term nickelodeonize. What’s worse? I’d have to say just plunking in the noun as a verb is upending, but neither is preferable.

I’d also point out that using the same term in the same basic piece of internet real estate shows a lack of imagination — the exact quality that a cable TV channel like Nickelodeon should support and promote, but manages to extinguish with shows like SpongeBob and Dora.


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