THE EMASCULATION OF MR. ENGLISH

Please does the word "Stuff" end with an "s" How about "Staff"? "Can I pay you instalmentally?" I mean, I know we are Nigerians and have our own words and slang. But some words are just not acceptable. This may not change anything though. People will continue to torture Mr. English and he'll keep evolving. Consider this, If English were a man how do you think he would feel? Some ladies may protest my likening English language to a man. Here's why, you will agree with me that English language originates from various languages: you can find some Latin, French, Greek and so many other influences in English language. Since most men are more likely to meet more women than the opposite, I think we can liken English language to a man.

Mr. English has been abused, tortured and completely emasculated, such that slang, abbreviations and social media acronyms have nearly run the poor guy down. To emasculate a man, you would have taken away his self esteem, pride and essence of his manhood. You deprive him of his Male role/ identity and render him less effective. That's what's being done to the English language. In the song, "Vernacular" Lagbaja featured the legend Fela and they emphasized that English is not our mother tongue. Lovely song by the way, you should check it out. Like I said, I know we're Nigerians and English is not our mother tongue, I just think that if you're going to speak English, you should speak it well.


In one of my favorite movies "Bugsy", Benjamin Siegel aka Bugsy (played by Warren Beatty), the lead character and whom the movie is named after, would recite the same lines to calm his nerves. "To speak properly, you must enunciate each syllable." I totally agree with him. You see, Bugsy was the visionary behind the place we now know as Las Vegas. He was also a handsome and charismatic Jewish -American gangster. He helped build The Flamingo Hotel and other Casino game houses in the Mojave desert, in Nevada. He was a flamboyant guy and liked to interact with people so you imagine how important communicating effectively was to him. Like Bugsy, I like to speak properly and am alarmed when I hear certain words being used wrongly or errors in tenses, saying "she" instead of "he" and vice versa, using what we call Nigerian English and speaking it in the typical flat way. That's why people who talk for a living like myself have to speak well, so that you know the difference. Are you with me in this? Are there words that you don't like how they're used or ways of speaking that just defy basic grammar and communication? What are they? How has English been abused? Share your own experiences with us. If we want to use Pidgin as our Lingua Franca, all well and good but as long as it's English we're speaking, let's speak it well.


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