A Current Affairs And Social Critic Blog

NO-BULLSHITTING-LOGO-1-150x150-removebg-preview

COMMONLY MISUSED WORDS AND PHRASES AMONG NIGERIANS 1

NOTE: First published on September 19, 2020. The “Published” date on the tab is the date that it was uploaded on this new site. 

WORDS OF THE DAY: CRITIQUE & CRITICISM (CRITICIZE)

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

Greetings, folks!

I’m still staying away from Nigerian political and leadership topics for now. Guess what, though, I wanno confess that my previous excuse for my hiatus from blogging is actually just that…an excuse…and, a lame one at that.

Yap, if anybody gave me such crap as an excuse, trust me to tell him/her to shut the fuck up and ‘get outa town’; avoidance of politics and leadership doesn’t bar anyone from other millions of possible blog topics. I should have said that I have been too consumed in my business lately. Well, busy or not, my innate urge to critique just won’t let me be; I’ve got to critique something on broadcast and print media…anything at all. So, here I come.

My subject today is Commonly Misused Words, Phrases, And Terms In Communication.” And, what better way is there to start, than with the synonyms, critique and criticism (criticize), because, I said/say that I love to criticize subjects. However, I don’t want to be mistaken for a grouch, so, I didn’t say ‘criticize.’ A grouchy person, chronically criticizes in bad-tempered and grumpy manner…unnecessarily complaining all the time. That’s definitely not what I say that I am when I say that I love to critique subjects, no, sir/ma’am!!!

‘Criticism’ and ‘critique’ are synonyms, but they do vary enough to make a difference in meaning, especially in Nigeria. I prefer to use ‘critique’ for Nigeria because the populace (especially leaders), erroneously (mischievously), commonly see criticism simply as malicious attack on the subject. A good criticism requires one to analyze the subject, but the finer definition of critique, more expressly, requires equal attention to the negative and positive aspects of the subject, devoid of bias. A good critique hails the good elements and condemns the bad elements of the subject. When the good overwhelms the bad, the final general conclusion of the critique is positive; and, vice-versa…shikena (that’s all)!!!

Mind you, criticism does not necessarily mean “attack” either, but, the mere mention of the word in Nigeria instantly draws a red flag, with “malicious enemy attack” boldly written all over it. Nigerian politicians, elders, and the elites in general, such as kings and chiefs, have managed to establish this as the core definition of ‘criticism.’ To them, every criticism is a malicious attack by “detractors” and opposition parties, or disrespect by “radicals.”

That’s all a bunch of bullshit, of course. If you don’t like criticism, then stay the fuck away from public domain, I always say. Even if you’re the best in the world in governance, many would still criticize you. Personally, “No Bullshitting” attacks bad things, and not persons. You do good, you ain’t ‘gat’ no problem with us, meeeeen!!! All good deeds, and the persons that do them, are friends of “No Bullshitting.” In fact, and very important, when a ‘bad-doer’ does good for a change, “No Bullshitting” wants to celebrate him/her, just like “The prodigal son” is celebrated in the Christian Holy Book.

Now, to some other common erroneous applications. My choice of this subject was inspired last night by a TV advertisement for a Television Program. As I heard the advert, I held my usual imaginary or virtual three-man conversation between ‘Me,’ ‘Myself,’ and ‘I’; where ‘I’ said to ‘Myself’…”Self, here is a good light-hearted subject for ‘Me’ to talk about, away from all the political and leadership madness in Nigeria.

I must mention that I ain’t here to pretend to be a big-shot grammarian trying to teach my readers how to speak the English language, no, sir/ma’am!!! I’m just a bloody MultiMedia Communicator, and you may consider this a form of SATIRE addressing my observations in communication. However, I do know that some of my readers can benefit from some of my observations.

I ask my more enlightened readers to indulge me, and, if you’re reading this on an interactive platform, please contribute your own observations. You’d be amazed at the number and class of persons out there that may benefit from this, including PhD-degree holders oh! I also hope to learn a thing or two from your own contributions. I do regularly hear several celebrated TV News and Program Anchors/Hosts make lots of grammatical boo-boos on air every doggone day. Some, for instance, do not know how to use the phrases, “Your Excellency” and “His/Her Excellency” in a sentence. They mix them up, applying one where the other belongs.

The rule is simple: “Your Excellency,” applies when one is directly addressing the person (subject), such as a president or a state governor. EXAMPLE: “Your Excellency, I thank you for coming to our Show.” And, “His/Her Excellency” applies when one is addressing a third party about the governor or president. EXAMPLE: “I thanked His/Her Excellency when he came to our show.” It is wrong to say, “His Excellency, I thank you for coming to our Show,” and wrong to say, “I thanked Your Excellency when he came.” Mix-ups such as this abound, including the following:

(1) WHEN TO USE ‘ME’ OR ‘I’ IN SENTENCES:

‘Me’ and ‘I’ are first-person personal pronoun. And, I believe that knowing where to apply one, or the other in a sentence, is among the most common grammatical confusions of all time. Not only in Nigeria, mind you, but also everywhere that English is spoken.

EXAMPLES: Very commonly, many would say “He met John and I at home.” Nope, ‘me’ is the correct word here, not ‘I.’ “He met John and me at home.” Conversely, it’s wrong to say “John and me went to the market.” “John and I went to the market” is correct. And, by the way, commonly, the “second-person” (John) comes before the first-person (I) in that sentence. So, “I and john went to the market” is not widely accepted.

SIMPLE RULES OF THUMB: There are few rules to determine where the pronoun ‘I’ or the pronoun ‘me’ goes in a sentence, but I will stick to brief basics, thus: ‘I’ goes before a verb in a sentence, while ‘me’ almost always applies AFTER the verb, except…

EXAMPLES: “John and I went to the market” is correct, because the verb, went, is after ‘I.’ And, “John and me went to the market” is wrong, because ‘me’ should not come before the verb, went. Conversely, “John went to the market with me” is correct. “John went to the market with ‘I’ is wrong, because ‘I’ should not come after the verb ‘went.’ “You and I will go home” (‘I’ situated BEFORE the verb ‘go’) is correct, and not “You and me will go home,” because, ‘me’ comes after the verb, GO.

Another brief tip is: ‘I’ is used when it is the subject of the verb, and ‘me’ used when it is the object of the verb. Few exceptions to these rules include, when the pronoun is the “predicate nominative,” like in, “It IS I who WENT to the market.” In this, the pronoun ‘I’ goes AFTER the state-of-being-verb, ‘IS’, as well as BEFORE another to-do-verb, went.

(2) BETWEEN ‘WHEN’& ‘if’ (conditionality Versus certainty):

EXAMPLE: Nigeria is presently in the heart of rainy season, and rains are definitely falling regularly. But, a typical culprit says says to me, “IF the rains fall, the place is always flooded.” And, I’m like…Bros, the rains do fall; so it’s not about IF the rains fall, it’s about when, because they are bound to fall.

Similarly, we are in the middle of a night, and a dude says to me, “If the morning comes, you will go home.” If the morning comes? Hold it just one gaddamn moment, bro; I don’t know about your morning, but my own morning is certainly coming. Oh yes, indeed; even if the speaker happens not to wake up in that morning, the morning is still, certainly, gonno come, anyway, with or without the speaker. So, “IF the morning comes” cannot possibly be correct, because, coming, it must, as programmed since the beginning of creation. It has to be “when the morning comes…”

(3) GRAMMAR-LOGICAL FAILURE:

In the mentioned TV Program promo that incited this blog, a young dude says, “The fact that nobody sees your boxers under your trousers does not give you the right to wear dirty boxers.” This is not about correctness in grammar; it’s about logical versus nonsensical statements. My personal terminology for it is ‘grammar-logical’ flaw, or failure to be logical in a statement. Sure, the dude is grammatically correct, but logically nonsensical.

 I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself in a solo argument with, or even cursing out a character on TV for one reason or another, virtually forgetting, momentarily, that the TV character cannot even hear me. Yeah, I know, you probably do it, too, but may not admit it publicly like I do. But I don’t blame ya, because it is like admitting that you’re insane; doesn’t it? I probably won’t admit it myself, but when “No Bullshitting” takes over my being, I just can’t help myself anymore, meeeeeeen!!!

Anyway, the first time I heard that promo on TV, I was like…wait just a fucking minute, dude! Did you just say that my boxers being concealed “does not give you (me) the right to wear dirty boxers”? Are you kidding me, or out of your fucking mind, or just ‘grammar-logically’ immature? Of course, I do have every gaddamn right to wear my underpants as dirty as I choose. What the fuck are you gonno do about it…take me to court, huh? I am not violating any law, so I do have every right to be a “pig” in personal hygiene if I so choose, meeeeeeen!!!

Obviously, the dude meant to say something like, ‘For your own good, the fact that nobody sees your boxers does not mean that you should wear them dirty’…and, I ain’t bullshitting ya!!!

0 Reviews

Write a Review

Read Previous

COMMUNICATION WITHOUT COMMUNICATING, PART 2

Read Next

NIGERIA’S POLITICAL CROOKS JUST DON’T KNOW WHERE AND WHEN TO STOP BULLSHITING

260 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Follow by Email
Instagram