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COMMONLY MISUSED WORDS, PHRASES, AND TENSES, 16

May 29, 2021

WORDS OF THE DAY: ‘SEVERALLY’ DOES NOT MEAN ‘SEVERAL TIMES’

This is “No Bullshiting“, by Harry Agina.

Greetings, folks!

Folks, I’ve got to tell ya, straight up, that the word SEVERALLY does not mean SEVERAL TIMES. It does not mean REPEATEDLY, meeeeeen!!!

As I do every once in a while on this series, I will start by stating that I have no intention of talking down on my readers as though I am perfect in English grammar. I crave the indulgence of my educated and enlightened readers to remember that there are gazillion people who do not possess the knowledge that you possess and take for granted, which makes this series necessary for some people who need correction. Besides, even the most educated of us do make very simple errors in English grammar, especially those of us who English is our second language. As I point out some errors that you make, I do make some errors myself, the correction of which I may learn from you, too.

Importantly, before those of us who English is our second language allow ourselves to feel embarrassed about making errors in English grammar, let’s ask ourselves this qestion: How many owners of the English language can speak our own native languages, huh? We must be proud that we can speak their own at all, meeeen!!! Besides, many of those owners of English language actually commit a lot of errors in their grammar, too.

The error that I address in this edition is very common every doggone day. Yes, indeed, and this happens even among very educated persons, who are unware that SEVERAL TIMES and SEVERALLY are not the same…not at all, meeeen!!! Both are derivatives of the word SEVERAL, but they have different meanings altogether. Here is how:

SEVERALLY is derived from the adjective form of the word SEVERAL, while SEVERAL TIMES is derived from the pronoun form. ‘SEVERAL’ as a pronoun means more than two but not necessarily very many. And, as an adjective, ‘SEVERAL’ means ‘separate’, ‘different’, ‘respective’, ‘distinct.’ So, SEVERALLY, which is derived from the adjective form of SEVERAL, means SEPARATELY or RESPECTIVELY, or INDEPENDENTLY, or INDIVIDUALLY, or ONE-BY-ONE, or APART FROM OTHERS. Again, it DOES NOT mean ‘several times’ or ‘repeatedly’, no, sir, no ma’am!!!

“John visited me severally” means that John visited me independently, or alone, and not with Mike and Adamu who also visited me. Example: “John, Mike, and Adamu visited me last Monday, but they came severally.” This means that the three persons did not come at the same time; they came SEPARATELY, or INDVIDUALLY or INDEPENDENTLY.

In legal terms, for instance, you may sue a family of ten persons to court SEVERALLY, as separate individuals, and NOT IN ONE JOINT SUIT as a family.

So, bros or sis, next time that you want to say that something happened or will happen REPEATEDLY, DON’T SAY that it happened or will happen severally; say that it happened SEVERAL TIMES, or MANY TIMES, or REPEATEDLY.

NBB INFOTAINMENT: “ST. ANDREW RIDDIM MIX”

Today’s NBB INFOTAINMENT song is titled “ST. ANDREW RIDDIM MIX,” featuring Pressure, Alaine, Morgan Heritage, & Tarrus Riley. It’s a pretty long one, I must tell ya (over 13 minutes), but I guarantee that you will enjoy every bit of it. The very beginning says, “Mama never wrong, papa never wrong…” But, in line with a statement in my preamble to this series today about imperfection in English grammar (2nd paragraph), I have to disagree with those first words of the singer that his mama and papa are never wrong. Nobody is “never wrong.” We all are wrong in various ways, sometimes, meeeeeen!!!

However, the gist of the song is that it’s good to listen to the wisdom of our elders. “It’s like my grandmother has her own language when she talks to me, me overstand. Sometimes   she’s nagging, but one thing is that she’s never wrong…” he says.

Grandpa also has his own style of advising, too. But, the gist of it all is to listen to the old folks when they talk because there is wisdom in their words. Of all the lessons that grandma taught him, one thing stands out, that in the race of life, you can’t lose out. And, it’s all about not giving up, and never losing hope…you know, doggedness or persistence in the race, until you win; and so on, and on, and on.

So, here is ST. ANDREW RIDDIM MIX for ya, happy jamming for the next 13 and odd minutes!!!: https://youtu.be/1UOJPGqIxS8

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