By Joseph M. Mumbe
Make a choice of words while writing or speaking in public. Fluency gives weight and credibility to you and your message.
For example, it is wrong to say: UPDF is looking for run-away fugitives in Karamoja.
Right: UPDF is looking for fugitives in Karamoja.
(A fugitive is somebody on the run, being looked for. Why do you repeat same words?)
Stop saying: Tell me why did you do that? Say: Tell me why you did that.
(In a statement, helping verb –did- should come after pronoun – “you”.
Wrong: When we went to class, we did not find no teacher, no chair, no nothing.
Right: When we went to class, we did not find any teacher; not even a chair.
(Actually ‘nothing’ means not anything)
Wrong: First come, first serve. Right: First come, first served
(The proverb means the first to come should be served first. Not the first to come should serve.)
Wrong: I did not do nothing. Right: I did nothing.
(Two negatives will reverse the sentence. If you didn’t do nothing, you did something.)
Wrong: My mother wanted that I be a doctor. Right: My mother wanted me to be a doctor.
Wrong: The girl wants to get herself married. Right: The girl wants to get married.
(‘Herself’ is a repetition about the girl)
Wrong: Today is more hot than yesterday. Right: Today is hotter than yesterday.
(Comparative degree of hot = hotter. More is used while comparing adjectives with more than two syllables.)
Wrong: I, you and him will do the work. Right: You, he and I will do the work.
(Wrong use of pronoun “he”)
Wrong: If the bills are sent to Parliament, all the resources have to be re spent again.
Right: If the bills are sent to Parliament, all the resources have to be spent again.
(Re- is a prefix meaning again)
Wrong: The ministry shall have no choice and shall not have option but to close the lakes.
(A choice is an option; therefore, both shouldn’t appear in one sentence)
Wrong: Our people they need immediate help of relief.
Right: Our people need relief. Or: Our people need help.
(Pronoun ‘they’ should be dropped because it stands for noun ‘people’. Relief means help)
The author is a Theologian and Educator
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org