By LUSUGA KIRONDE, 23rd December 2011 @ 11:03, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 1261
Christmas is once again with us. Business people always look forward to make some good money around this period as people shop for Christmas and for the New Year.
A new shopping mall in Dar has prepared itself to doing brisk business, as is reported in an article titled: “Quality Centre ready for X-Mass” (my-African 22 December, p. 2): “The latest launched shopping mall in Dar es Salaam; the Quality Centre Mall (QCM) said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that it was ready to host customers ‘at this festival season’”.
“Festival season”? The reporter seems to be convinced since he/she goes on to write: “For people who live at the southern part of the city, this will be their choice for ‘the festival season’”. There are two words to ponder about: Festival and Festive.
A special occasion when people celebrate something such as a religious event and there is often a public holiday, is called a festival. We can therefore talk of the Christmas festival. Note that “festival” is a noun.
We cannot therefore talk of “the festival season”. “Festive” on the other hand is an adjective meaning looking or feeling bright and cheerful in a way that seems suitable for celebrating something. Since the period around Christmas fits this description it is usually referred to as the “festive season”.
There we are. The writer should have referred to “the festive season” and not “the festival season”. ***** The Quality Centre Centre is a new mall in town. When was it opened and by who? According to the my-African: “It was opened early this month by Kenyan Premier, “Laira” Odinga. Aw!
Mtani Odinga must have laughed his head off when he read this. But may be it is not surprising. There are people, including Mr Odinga’s Watani, who do not differentiate between “l” and “r”, and therefore use them interchangeably.
But Mr Oding is a big man and has an official spelling for his name which I have seen many times as being “Raila” Odinga. Where did “Laira” come from? ***** We are currently in the festive season, but are businessmen realising soaring sales?
From Kampala, the answer is in the negative: “Kampala in low Xmas sales” moans the Eastern African Business Weekly (December 19-25, p. 28). Read on: “Retailers, this festive season have had little to celebrate due to a drop in sales”. Please note the correct use of the “festive season” but has there really been a drop in sales?
This seems unlikely. More likely than not, sales have not been as high as had been anticipated, but they cannot have dropped. Thus, our sentence needs a recasting to read something like: “Retailers, this festive season have had little to celebrate about due to low sales”.
Because of low sales, retailers are forced to innovate to promote consumption as is reported of one businessman: “‘We have always hiked the prices knowing that people are willing to spend on the biggest shopping of the year but we are resorting to reducing the prices and make some sales” say IK, a dealer in kids’ ATTIRES”.
“‘Purchasing CLOTHS and other accessories for Christmas season has been left for the few because majority of the people forego CLOTHS for sugar and food’, explained IK”. There are two words to comment about from the above narration from Kampala. One, the noun “attire” (meaning clothes) is uncountable. Therefore we do not say “attires”.
Moreover, I wonder whether it is correct to talk of “kids’ attire” since the word “attire” is used in formal reference to clothing eg a business attire, lawyers’ attire, etc. I would just say “kids’ something but not “cloths”. This brings us to our second word: “Cloths”. The noun “cloth” means material for making things such as clothes. Under this meaning “cloth” is uncountable (eg cotton cloth).
“Cloth” also means a piece of woven fabric used for a particular purpose eg a table cloth. Under this meaning, “cloth” is countable but does not become “cloths” for the plural. All the same, the writer was referring to what people wear. This is called “clothes” (not “cloths”). “Clothes” is always plural and has no singular form.
Thus, it is kids’ clothes; ladies clothes, men’s clothes etc. ***** In Europe they always look forward to a white Christmas. By the look of things, here in Dar es Salaam we may have to contend with a wet Christmas characterised by floods in many places.
Shop keepers are unlikely to realise a high turnover under these circumstances so sales for kids “cloths” will be low. But for the men of cloth (priests), the story may be different as people are likely to flock to churches. We wish you a merry Christmas and prosperous new year.
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