The police admitted using tear gas against the rioters: “We could not tolerate them as they were ‘destructing’ government and people’s property.” The writer may not have been aware that the verb: “to destruct” is applied to missiles.
It means: “The intentional, usually remote-controlled destruction of a space vehicle, rocket, or missile after launching, as a result of defective performance or for reasons of safety”.
Thus you do not “destruct” a church, a shop, a motor vehicle. You may damage or destroy these. You may cause extensive destruction on them. May peace reign in the Spice Islands of Zanzibar.
***** On the sports scene, there has been turbulence in Yanga Sport Club which led to the resignation of ten out of thirteen members of the Club’s executive committee, as reported in the Custodian, (28 May) back page, under the heading: “Yanga told to hold elections.”
An attempt to oust the Club’s Chairman had been disapproved by the national soccer body TFF, which instead, directed that the Club holds elections. This was partly because: “the number of the present members ‘are’ ineligible to function and cannot make any decision owing to ‘insufficient quorum.’”
The verb “are” is inappropriately used since it should refer to the “number of” and not to “the members.” It should be in the
singular form. Besides, there is nothing like an “insufficient quorum.” A quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present in a meeting to make its transactions valid.
So you either have that minimum number (i.e. you have the quorum) or you do not. If you have a quorum, it means you have the minimum, or more than the minimum, number of the members that is required. Thus the sentence could be rewritten into something like: “The number of the present members makes the executive committee ineligible to function since it cannot make any decision owing to lack of a quorum.”
Later on the Club’s Chairman, Mr Nchunga, resigned but it is of interest to read what was written about him: “Nchunga was disliked by Yanga ever since he ‘seized power’ through a general election held in July 2010 to replace Imani Madega.” Now, how can it be said that the Chairman “seized power” when actually he was elected? Remember, “to seize power” means to take by force or to capture. Did Chairman Nchunga do that?
***** Something is happening in the world of beauty contest in Tanzania and a dedicated website was recently launched: “The Miss Tanzania organisers have launched a new website that would track all beauty pageantry ‘constants’ since the event was revived in 1994,” reports the Custodian (28 May). “Registration would start June.
The ‘pageants’ would later on undergo special training in and outside the country after being registered..... However, all beauty ‘constants’ wishing to be registered into the website are required to contribute between 5,000/- and 10,000/- per month.” Who are these “beauty constants”? I have a sneaking feeling that the writer had “beauty contestants” in mind, wouldn’t you agree?
How about the idea that “pageants” would undergo training? Well, “pageant” does not mean “contestant” as the writer seems to believe. A pageant is a public show of people dressed in decorated or unusual places. It also means a public competition for (young) women in which their appearance and other qualities are compared and judged. This latter is also known as a “beauty contest.”
So, our contestants are not pageants, but may participate in a pageantry. Beauty contestants are sometimes put in hotels. This hotel in Mbeya that assures you peace and offers “bad and breakfast” may just about be ideal. It is decent and cheap. There is nothing bad about their rooms, food or other services. So why put in its brochure the information that the tariff includes “bad and breakfast”?
A careless error I would say since the beds are superb. Yes. What is meant by “bad and breakfast” is “bed and breakfast.” ***** Finally to football, where the National men’s soccer team Taifa Stars, is being exhorted to put in extra effort in training to ensure they go through the World Cup qualifiers (Custodian May 28): “The game against Cote d’Ivoire must be taken with great caution by the Danish coach if he really focuses on ‘wining’ the qualifier berth.”
Now, wait a minute! If the coach focuses his team on “wining” and possibly “dining,” what are the chances of winning the next tournament?