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Opinions of Friday, 26 June 2015

Columnist: Azindoo, Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq

Literary discourse: When analyst becomes anarchist…

Introduction

ERROR ANALYSIS is an interesting but controversial area of Applied Linguistics. It provides opportunities for scholars and users of language to correct one another in a spirit of mutual learning and intellectual sharing, and for the common goal of expanding the frontiers of knowledge. However, Error Analysis becomes a source of ridicule to an analyst who disrespects the views of others and regards his or hers as a “divine revelation” on linguistic precision. Such a person, whose claims are devoid of credible references, could largely be viewed as an anarchist in the linguistic scholarly community. And when an analyst becomes an anarchist, food for thought becomes poison for destruction.

Commenting on a write-up on the recent flood-cum-inferno disaster in Accra, Anwona Kanjaga seemingly reduced himself to a Template of Language Anarchist when he attempted to discredit the use of the phrase “Bloody Wednesday” without any basis. The article was authored by Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo of Literary Discourse and published on ghanaweb.com. Fortunately, Anwona Kanjaga was called to order by a number of contributors. The views expressed by the various contributors are so educative that they are worthy of sharing with readers. We, therefore, publish them unedited with the sole aim of promoting literary scholarship:

Views of Contributors

Author:
Anwona Kanjaga
Date:
2015-06-08 10:03:25
Comment to:
The bloody wednesday and matters arising


I am sorry but the way we choose our words for descriptions are not appropriate. Bloody means when massacres take place and peoples' blood are spilled by others. This was a natural disaster so the best fitting coinage should be dark Wednesday and not bloody Wednesday.

Author:
comrade ozman
Date:
2015-06-08 12:34:59
Comment to:
not a bloody wednesday but a dark one


come out with your suggestion pertinent to the issue on board and stop this unnecessary correction of people assertions.after all,english language is non of our mothers tongue.

Author:
Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo
Date:
2015-06-08 15:33:15
Comment to:
not a bloody wednesday but a dark one


Thanks for your useful comment, darling brother Anwona Kanjaga. But the comment would have been more useful if it had been intended to add to not to subtract from the meanings of the adjective "bloody." Your claim is just one of the numerous contexts in which the word is applied, but it does not make mine wrong. Below is the justification of my contention:

1 - "Bloody" among other things means "covered, smeared, or running with blood." Another meaning is: "composed of or resembling blood." (Oxford Dictionary of English, 2010, p. 182). So, if the tragedy under review is "composed of blood", the use of "bloody" is contextually right.

2 - On usage, the dictionary states that “bloody” is informally "used to express anger, annoyance, or shock, or simply for emphasis." Therefore, if I use the word to express any of the above stated emotions in the article, it is semantically correct. Darling brother, be informed that I indeed used "bloody" to emphasize the tragedy on that Wednesday.

3 - "Bloody" can be used figuratively to achieve certain special effects. In my write-up, the appropriate figure of speech for which the word has been used is HYPERBOLE. You may read about it.

Darling brother, perhaps what is more worthy of correction is the grammatical Error of Concord in your comment. This Error of Concord is contained in your statement: "...and people's blood are spilled by others.” In this construction, the subject is "blood" which is singular. So it must agree with a singular verb - "is." Indeed, if you are genuinely interested in corrections, you should start from there. Just replace "are" with "is" to respect the principle of Concord.

You may consult page 181 of the same dictionary to understand that "blood" is both a mass noun and a count noun. When it is a mass noun, it agrees with a singular verb in sentence construction, and when it is a count noun, it agrees with the appropriate verb depending on the NUMBER of the subject. For instance, "blood" - singular - takes "is", but "bloods" - plural - takes "are".

As for the noun “coinage”, I better do not comment on its inappropriateness in your text. I, however, advise you to read about WORD FORMATION for better understanding of “coinage” as a process of word creation.

Darling brother Kanjaga, you may learn from the following words of wisdom: “Humans are prone not only to commit language errors themselves but also to err in their judgments of those errors committed by others” (James, 1998: 204).

Author:
Dr. SAS, Attorney at Law
Date:
2015-06-08 18:05:06
Comment to:
Re: not a bloody Wednesday but a dark on


Superb answer as usual.

Sometimes I daresay that I am more interested in the wisdom in Bro. Azindoo's answer than the trite questions asked by people who have no clue what they are talking about. And here in his measured answer, Prof. Azindoo still proves a variant to the adage that "A word to the wise is in the north".

Author:
Abubaar M. M. Azindoo
Date:
2015-06-08 20:02:46
Comment to:
Re: not a bloody Wednesday but a dark on


As usual, I am thankful to you and humbled by your compliments, Dr. SAS. In fact, you have always been a source of inspiration to me and many others interested in life-long learning. Your contributions - short or long, for or against - have often been value-addition to intellectual discours. May you continue to be a figure in the Community of Knowledge. Stay blessed, Doc.

Author:
Eshun
Date:
2015-06-09 00:00:50
Comment to:
The bloody wednesday and matters arising


Good education!

Author:
Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo
Date:
2015-06-08 23:15:46
Comment to:
Re: The bloody wednesday and matters arising


Thankful and humbled.

Conclusion

Knowledge is so broad that it is always safer for a person to state what he or she knows and allow others to express their opinions too based on principles and conventions of a given discipline. In fact, what one knows does not invalidate what one knows NOT. It only defines the limit of one’s possession in the vast arena of knowledge and encourages one to learn more. This way, one is expected to respect what others know as long as they can prove their claims in line with existing principles and credible references. Conclusively, we commend Anwona Kanja for provoking the friendly discourse in spite of his seeming attempt to water down the correct application of the phrase “Bloody Wednesday.”



By Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo, Coordinator of Students and University Relations, University of Applied Management (UAM), Germany – Ghana Campus, McCarthy Hill, Accra and Tamale
Email: azindoo200@gmail.com Tell: 0244755402