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Opinions of Thursday, 24 July 2014

Columnist: Confidence, Abdulai Hanan R.

Presidency: unacceptable errors

The president's facebook page is littered with basic grammatical mistakes and riddled with eye-plucking spelling errors. I thought we have learnt our lessons from Ben Malor's debut press release debacle. Just a week ago a press release on the asylum seekers in Brazil had "religious" spelt as "relgious". I thought our siblings on the other divide would have spotted it and make a gain, but I didn't chance any remark to that effect.

Every now and then, there is a snapshot of "silly" mistakes on presidential press releases and social media handlers. It is becoming one too many for acceptability.

I am allergic to spelling errors and typos. Sometimes I pick a document and the first thing my eye will spot will be a typo/error, obviously not out of conscious effort to identify a problem in it. My private work sometime ago thought I was out of malice keen in spotting mistakes in documents until they understood me. My colleagues and I were able to manage the problem and keep it at bay. For Heaven's sake, this is the highest office of the land. The gaffes are utterly embarrassing. No excuses! I consider spelling errors as more grievous and unacceptable than grammatical mistakes - you may be able to defend the latter but you dare not the former. As a matter of fact, if I am reading anything, and identify a few spelling errors or typos, I won't continue. The wrong spelling of a word has the propensity of overwriting the correct one in your head.

The admin(s) of the president's Facebook and Twitter pages must sit up. Managers of presidential circulars must 'up' their game. And perchance, spare us all the shame of being a Ghanaian on a social media. Pedantic is the word.

The presidency should note: circulars are created with Microsoft Office Word and by default autocorrect, grammar and spelling check preclude words typed in UPPER CASE. Get an expert to configure your word processor application to check for spelling or grammar in all cases (lower case, upper case, title case, sentence case etc). Or better still type everything in lower case first and change titles and subtitles to upper case. The shortcut key for toggling between cases is Shift + F3 after highlighting the text. Does this require a robotic scientist?

Lest I forget, I am not immune to grammar flaws and don't assess me because I am me and myself. I don't represent anyone on Facebook or any social media.

Abdulai Hanan R. Confidence confidencegh@gmail.com