By Joseph M. Mumbe
Stop saying: He is married with three daughters!
In such a statement, there are so many interpretations. You should be specific to listeners and readers. Are you married “to” or “with”? Without separating that sentence, the meaning is only known to the speaker. It is better to say: He is married and has three children.
Wrong: Private school teachers are stranded with nowhere to go.
Right: Private school teachers are stranded.
(By definition, ‘stranded’ means having nowhere to go, nothing to do.)
Stop saying: He cannot read and write. Say: He cannot read or write.
(He cannot read and write means he can’t do the two at once yet he neither does any.)
Wrong: I am going to give you a brief summary of what is happening in Masaka.
Right: I am going to give you a summary of what is happening in Masaka.
(A summary is by definition brief)
Wrong: My daughter has 3 years. Right: My daughter is 3 years old.
(Age isn’t a possession. It is ‘how old you are’.)
Wrong: Don’t talk about the Prime Minister anyhowly. Right: Don’ttalk about the Prime Minister anyhow.
(anyhowly is not in English grammar. It is a very common mistake)
Wrong: The Minister stopped the security committee from visiting the affected victims.
Right: The Minister stopped the security committee from visiting the victims.
(If you are affected, you are a victim of circumstance)
Wrong: Is there anyempty space in the hall? Right: Is there any space in the hall?
(Space is an expanse which is free, empty)
Wrong: First and foremost, the government has forgotten the private school teachers.
Right: First, the government has forgotten the private school teachers.
(The foremost thing is the first in position)
Wrong: The final outcome from closure of education institutions has been unnecessary pregnancies.
Right: The outcome from closure of education institutions has been unnecessary pregnancies.
(Outcome is the same as result, which is final)
Wrong: My mother wanted that I be a singer. Right: My mother wanted me to be a singer.
(Correct verb is ‘to be’ after dropping Pronoun “I”)
The author is a Theologian and Educator
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