By Joseph M. Mumbe
It is wrong to say: First of all,…
It is superfluous to speak too many words meaning the same thing. I acknowledge the existence of figures of speech which were widely used as literary devices by the Bible authors. Such figures were used in the original languages to purposely emphasize spiritual issues, achieve special meaning and add beauty to the message. However, you can choose to be precise in speech and written by dropping redundant words.
Correctly say: First, ….. because the first thing is the ‘first’ among the rest.
Stop saying: The former graduate of Makerere is now a state Minister. Say: The graduate of Makerere is now a state Minister.
A graduate is by definition a former student, one who completed.
Stop saying: The dollar has depreciated in value. Say: The dollar has depreciated.
Depreciating is diminishing in value so the use of “in value” is a redundant.
Stop saying: Our future plan is to construct rental houses. Say: Our plan is to construct rental houses.
A plan is by definition a preparation for future. You can categorize it into phases as “first, next plan…..
Stop saying: The meeting was attended by many of my fellow tribe mates. Say: The meeting was attended by many of my tribe mates.
The word ‘fellow’ and ‘mate’ are the same in meaning.
Stop saying: The killings in Masaka District are done by armed gunmen.
Say: The killings in Masaka are done by gunmen. Or: The killings in Masaka District are done by armed men.
A gunman is one who is armed.
Stop saying: He asked the boy to repeat the statement again. Say: He asked the boy to repeat the statement.
To repeat is to reiterate an action, to re-echo. The word ‘repeat’ means ‘again’.
Stop saying: The doctor told me to go with my past records of treatment. Say: The doctor told me to go with my records of treatment.
A record is ‘history’ or past events.
Stop saying: It was wrong for the girl to directly confront her mother. Say: It was wrong for the girl to confront her mother.
A confrontation is a direct conflict.
Stop saying: If you don’t wear a mask, the end result will be contracting COVID 19.
Say: If you don’t wear a mask, the result will be contracting COVID 19.
Results occur at the end.
(This is a compilation from mainly local TV broadcasts I watch daily)
The author is a Theologian and Educator.
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