how iPod could destroy civilization as we know it, mwah hah hah

Did you know that MP3 players could destroy the planet?

It's true folks. Smarter people than I will respond to data-theft-panic inducing ad in question, indeed The Register, in its prescience, already did. What I want to talk about is the writing in that ad.

Here's the text of the current ad, as quoted by The Register, first a poem:

Christmas is coming,
The Goose is getting fat,
And workers are expecting,
MP3 and video players in their hat,
Security should worry,
When devices get plugged in,
For the mobile security nightmare,
Is that hackers get to win

Then some prose:

With MP3 players soaring to the top of Santa's Shopping list, and memory capacities on them larger than ever with top end MP3s able to store as much as an average laptop, businesses and consumers must watch out post Christmas as they bring with them a very serious security threat.

There are just too many places to go with this one. Let's start with the awful rhythm of the poem. When you have to speed up your lips to say "mobile security" and soften all the consonants so the phrase has three syllables instead of six, well, you've got yourself a bad line and should think up another. Let's not even talk about what has to be done with "MP3 and video players" I don't think my lips can move that fast. And what company makes all their workers share one hat?

Staying with the verse for another paragraph, I believe it was supposed to be humorous. What do you think? I know it isn't now, what with the inane rhyme scheme and confusing phraseology. I'm left wondering what it is their trying to tell me. Hackers get to win a free MP3 player for Christmas? Any humor gave way to frustration by the third time I tried to speak the thing in a workable rhythm.

Okay, on to the prose. That's one sentence. One. May I ask why? The sentence is so long and tricky that it's hard to figure out the subject. Is it MP3 players? Or is it "business owners and consumers"? Are business owners and consumers a serious security threat? Are MP3 players? Perhaps it's Santa's Shopping List.

Or maybe it's the copy writer!

Writing tip from one who knows not nearly enough about writing but lots about reading: At the point where you need to take a breath, say between the phrases "larger than ever" and "with top end", it is possible to make two or even three sentences out of one, thereby making things much easier for the reader potential customer.

Apparently this is only an excerpt from the actual ad. The Register, mercifully, decided not to quote more. Was the rest of it as bad as this?

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