“Copy and pest”, the epitome of plagiarism!

I AM attending this International Conference, where, one of the major themes is, youth unemployment, in light of the fact that by far the majority of the population in Africa, is classified as being young.

The Good Citizen (July 23, page 6), carried an editorial linking unemployment to plagiarism.

“It is often asked why some local graduates who enter the job market are incompetent when it comes to executing their duties. One of the underlying reasons, which is pivotal to all, is plagiarism during their academic endeavours”.

According to one quoted observer, plagiarism is encouraged by technological developments, whereby it is possible to “cut and pest”, large chunks of material and include it in one’s work, say a paper or a thesis without much as a thought.

Is it “cut and pest”? Absolutely not, since a pest is defined as: “any organism harmful to humans or human concerns. The term is particularly used for creatures that damage crops, livestock, and forestry or cause a nuisance to people, especially in their homes”. Some examples of pests are mosquitoes, rodents, and weeds.

As such “cut and pest” cannot hold. The phrase that is commonly used these days is “cut and paste”, which means: “to copy (information in a computer document) and put it somewhere else in the document”.

On the same page 6 of the Good Citizen, is another editorial titled: “Make visiting Kariakoo, a pleasant experience”. The writer laments the chaotic situation in Kariakoo, the largest market area in the Country. He or she urges authorities to do something, but with a caution:

“We are not trying to suggest that petty traders be kicked out of Kariakoo, far from it. However, it is possible for them to conduct business in the area without breaking every by-law ‘in the book’”. Well, the latter phrase: “in the book”, should be “in the books”.

As we know, Tanzania has recently acquired a large cargo plane, a Boeing 767-300F with a carrying capacity of 54 tonnes. This is reported on the front page of the Daily Blog (June 2). According to the Minister for Transport:

“This will be a great opportunity for Tanzanians to export their products ‘abroad’ for economic gains”.

We have said it before. Since “to export” means: “to send (goods or services) to another country for sale”, there is no need to qualify the verb “to export” with “abroad”. The latter word is redundant. The sentence then could be rephrased:

“This will be a great opportunity for Tanzanians to export their products for economic gain”.

The Minister is quoted as saying something more: “The coming of the cargo plane was part of the efforts by the ‘six-phase’ government under President SSH to transform ‘air transport sector’ by enabling reforms in the state-owned company (ATCL)”.

Ever since we got Independence, we have come to regard each one of our successive Presidents as a “phase” of government. President Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Mwalimu)’s is seen as the first phase government. President Samia Suluhu Hassan is our sixth President, so, her rule can be referred to as “the sixth-phase” government (not six-phase government, whatever that means).

So what the Minister said could be re-phrased as follows:

“The coming of the cargo plane was part of the efforts by the ‘sixth-phase’ government under President SSH to transform ‘the’ air transport sector by enabling reforms in the state-owned Company (ATCL)”.

We end up by reading a piece on agriculture, appearing on page 4 of the Daily Blog (17 July), titled: “Yara commits timely delivery of fertilizer”. The Company is quoted as saying the following: “The meeting was to review the dealers’ performance for the last season and map out new strategies for the coming season”. Note that the word “season” is used twice in the sentence.

Pronouns exist, in order to help us avoid repetition. We can therefore replace one “season” with a pronoun: “The meeting was to review the dealers’ performance for the last season and map out new strategies for the coming one”.

Enjoy your weekend.

lusuggakironde@gmail.com

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