Think of language as a mechanically sound vehicle for conveyance
SEE ALSO :Deaf couple ties the knot in KitaleFrom these passages, we discern the following: poor sentence structure, inappropriate use of certain words and the misuse of definite and indefinite articles in the English language. Articles are adjectives used to modify nouns that come after them. ‘The’ is a definite article. It is used to refer to a particular thing, something that is definite. ‘A’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles. Both come before singular common nouns. For example, “He is a monk”. Indefinite article ‘a’ comes before words that begin with consonants while ‘an’ precedes words that start with vowel sounds. Violent push To suggest death is deserved or even dignified is to misinform. The phrase, “get none of” makes reference to a thing or things that are shareable, which leaves one at a disadvantage to explain how death can be shared, and what percentage of it one is entitled to. A more appropriate and widely used phrase is “to have none of”, which means ‘to refuse to accept something”. Having explained articles, the sentence; “The Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote” suggests Dangote is the only billionaire in Nigeria, which is a misrepresentation. Had the writer omitted definite article ‘the’, anybody reading the story would understand Dangote to be one of many billionaires in Nigeria, though he tops the charts in the order of ranking. The indefinite article ‘a’ is misplaced in the sentence “it was a politics featuring the usual...” Poor grammatical construct is captured by two sentences. First, “from the mating habits of cockroaches to the black hole”. The ambiguity in this sentence suggests black holes mate, yet, in reality, they are a mystery of nature that scientists still try to comprehend and explain. Second, “a leading human rights activist has thrust the subject on our face”. Well, we don’t have a single ‘face, so the writer should have used the plural ‘faces’ to honour the stipulation on subject/ verb agreement. Still, “on our faces” is a wanting construction. Thrust, defined as a sudden violent push in a specified direction, or to impose, is normally followed by ‘into’, ‘upon’. For example, “He thrust his hands into his pockets to stop himself from hitting her in anger”. “The burden of leading the research team was thrust upon him”. It is proper to say “Get out of my face” and “Get out of my sight”. The first is a call on someone to stop harassing you, or to leave you alone. The second is used to tell someone to go away. Mr Chagema is a correspondent at The [email protected]
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