Sending very ‘worm felt’ greetings to my teen ‘sun’

IT may not be the predicted El Nino, but it has rained throughout the country lately. Part of Zanzibar suffered from serious flooding. This prompted the Zanzibar President to promise to take action. This is reported on page 2 of the Daily Blog of November 16, in a news item titled: “Mwinyi vows to control devastating floods”.

May be because of the intensity of the rain, the story writer felt compelled to qualify the word “downpour”, not once, but twice,

The President is quoted as promising to build proper ‘tunnels’ with high capacity of collecting rainwater: “This will definitely end or reduce the impact of rain water during ‘heavy downpour’”.

In these circumstances I would have gone for “high capacity drains”, instead of “high capacity tunnels.” Needless to say, I would have refrained from qualifying “downpour”. “Heavy” can be assigned to rain, as, for example in: “Heavy rains”, but not: “heavy downpour.”

The President is reported to have made the remarks: “after visiting areas ‘affected’ by floods which have ‘affected’ houses and farms damaging properties following ‘heavy’ downpour’ recorded from November 1 this year.”

Was the “heavy downpour” continuous from November 1? Mind you, this story was written around 15 November. Chances are: it rained heavily and stopped, and it rained heavily again some other time or day and stopped, and so forth. Thus, we are talking of a series of downpours recorded since November 1.

In thinking of re-writing the sentence, we are also aiming to reducing the two words “affected”, which are positioned “cheek by jowl”. Here we go:

“The President is reported to have made the remarks: “after visiting areas ‘affected’ by floods which caused damage to houses, farms and other properties, following downpours recorded from November 1 this year.”

The President ordered some action taken: “He directed the municipalities and the Ministry of Lands to stop issuing permits indiscriminately, and instead, before issuing the documents, inspection must be conducted in collaboration with officers from the Zanzibar Disaster Commission to ensure that ‘it’ prevents unauthorised construction”.

The pronoun “it”, implies that the directive was given to one authority. Yet, three institutions are involved here. Thus, “it”, must change to, “they”. Here is a proposed re-write:

“The President directed the municipalities and the Ministry of Lands to stop issuing permits indiscriminately, and instead, before issuing the documents, inspection must be conducted in collaboration with the Zanzibar Disaster Commission to ensure that, together, ‘they’ prevent unauthorised construction”.

Let us leave Zanzibar and go to Arusha, where a Good Citizen correspondent, narrates having suffered an unexplained splitting headache, at one time in his life. He calls that: “a historical headache”. No. That headache was historic.

It turned out that he had a problem with his eyes which led him to: “ordering a new pair of eyeglasses. It will take a week before I get a new pair of eyeglasses”.

It is partly in order to avoid repetitions like the case with “ordering a new pair of eyeglasses”, above, that pronouns were invented. The sentences could therefore be rewritten into:

“It turned out that he had a problem with his eyes which led him to: “ordering a new pair of eyeglasses. It will take a week before I get them”.

His, is a lengthy story. He does not divulge all the details, thus his telling us: “To cut ‘the whole’ story short, from that day ‘to date’, I have been a remarkable person”.

The phrase “to date” is superfluous. Besides, “to cut a xxxx story short” is an idiom. It is normally written as: “to cut a long story short”, not “to cut the whole story short”.

Let us end up by quoting this person who was certainly in a joyful mood, when he mixed up homophones: “warm” and “worm”; and “son” and “sun”.

“Sending very ‘worm’ felt greeting to my teen ‘sun’”, could be re-written into: “Sending my very ‘warm’ and heartfelt greetings to my teen ‘son’”.

Fancy sending “warm greetings to the sun!”

lusuggakironde@gmail.com

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