By LUSUGA KIRONDE, 9th December 2011 @ 15:56, Total Comments: 1, Hits: 1151
THE Tanzania Mainland soccer team, Kilimanjaro Stars, has been bundled out of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, although, having the advantage of home ground, it should have done better.
There were signs that the Stars would not make it to the finals, as for example was reported in the Sunday Blog (4th December, p. 20) in an article titled: “Poor Stars beaten, scrape through.” Read on: “Tanzania Mainland soccer team Kilimanjaro Stars ‘scrapped’ through to the quarterfinals of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, despite going 1-2 down to Zimbabwe .....”.
The writer should have realised that ‘to scrape’ and ‘to scrap’ are two different words. To “scrape” means to manage to win or get something with difficulty. To “scrap” (pp. “scrapped”) on the other hand, means to cancel or get rid of something that is no longer practical or useful. Thus: “Kilimanjaro Stars ‘scraped’ (not, ‘scrapped’) through to the quarterfinals”.
Some readers of this column have expressed a view that we are being too trivial in criticising writers. Many of the mistakes they do are just typing errors. Who does not err? True, but some of the mistakes you find in our papers are most likely a result of laxity. Take this article in the weekly Business Time (2-8 December, p. 3) which is titled:
“Pinda ‘Challenge’ local brewing firm to invest.” It reports on Premier Pinda’s recent launching of a new brewery in Moshi. There are at least 10 typographical errors or omissions in the article over and above other language irregularities. Start with the headline. “Pinda ‘challenge’ local brewing firm to invest?”
No. “Pinda ‘challenges’ .... firms to invest.” This is because Mr Pinda is an individual. Other typographical errors (with the intended version in brackets) are: Limted (Limited); factorries (factories); extennd (extend); hectres (hectares); africulture (agriculture, though africulture may pass if you are referring to African culture); bwteen (between); oercent (percent); deaprtment (department); imortant (important); Board of Director (Board of Directors); plants (plans); dirinks (drinks); prodcuts (products); otherhr (other).
Yes, all of these in one, less than 600 words, article. And, there is more to chew in the article: “The Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has challenged ‘the’ Serengeti Breweries ‘Limted’ (SBL) to extend its geographical ‘footprints’ by constructing ‘factorries’ outside the country. Prime Minister Pinda gave the challenge when launching ‘the’ Serengeti breweries’ new ‘brewery’ plant in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region on Tuesday.”
I would leave out the definite article (“the”) when referring to SBL and would aim at minimising unnecessary repetitions of names and words. My version would read thus: “The Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has challenged Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) to extend its geographical footprint by constructing factories outside the country. The Premier gave the challenge when launching SBL’s new plant in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region on Tuesday.”
Note that we have avoided saying: “the Serengeti breweries’ new brewery plant,” since it is reasonable to assume that given the circumstances, the plant launched would be a brewery. The chairman of the SBL “Board of Director” said the new plant would be able to produce 500000 hectolitres of beer annually: “and ‘plants’ were underway to have the brewery manufacture twice as much in the ‘NEARLY’ future.”
Clearly the writer was so immersed in thinking about the newly launched plant that he forgot to switch to ‘plan’ when writing the above sentence, which should read: “plans were underway to have the brewery manufacture twice as much in the near future”. Yes, “in the near future” and not, “in the nearly future.”
SBL has news for teetotallers (those who do not drink alcohol). The SBL Board Chairman is reported to have said: “the company was ... planning to manufacture non alcoholic ‘DIRINKS’ to serve customers who do not use beer, whereby he said the world of competition challenged ‘the’ SBL to maintain the quality of its ‘PRODCUTS’ and also to create ‘OTHEHR’ products which would suit customers who don’t drink beer.”
We will not attempt to re-write the foregoing one sentence paragraph since the errors are obvious. It is however important to note that the words alcohol and beer are not interchangeable. There are beers without alcohol and there are many non-beer drinks which are alcoholic (such as wine, gin, whisky, brandy, vodka, wanzuki, dengerua, you name it).
In Kiswahili though, it would appear that the word “pombe” which means beer also means other alcoholic drinks. Off for a ‘dirink’ to celebrate 50 years of Independence!
Total Comments on the above stories (1)
Lusugo, your work is great. I really like visiting your column, and find it very useful in improving my English. Of couse i deeply appreciate your works. Sometimes when i read them, i find myself falling into deep throat laugh.
I would call you 'Kifimbo cheza wa Kiingereza' I don't know its English equivalent.
Thus your works are both educative and entertaining.
KEEP IT UP MZEE.
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