English, like other languages of the world, evolves with time and space. Having run full circle at certain point in time, words and phrases are bound to be treated as clichés that no longer excites and are thrown into the trash can. For the sake of history and posterity, these discarded words or phrases are stacked up somewhere or in the museum for future lexicographers to study and appreciate the past generation that employed them in an attempt to fashion them to suit the present generation. There are plenty of such words and phrases that have been reframed or changed as far back as the Elizabethan and Victorian period. I am sure you have heard about the Elizabethan and Victorian, up to Shakespearean English. They served their period and underwent certain changes, we now refer to as the current English. We are bound to follow the changes so long as we engage and recognize English as the official language and veritable means of communication and for social intercourse.
Don’t be left behind in this steady or somewhat rapid movements and update your knowledge of the language. Read wide and stay on top of the game. Now to our lesson of the day! The expression “Filled to capacity,” to the English purists and masters, has served its purpose and ran the full circle, tired and should be retired, at best to the archives of history for being over used. The phrase “Filled to capacity” now goes down as a cliché, to put it mildly. But what do we still find today? Pick up a newspaper to read or listen to the radio or television, all you read or hear about is “The venue” or “The bus” was “filled to capacity” phrase. The “filled to capacity” statement has been popularized by the writer, journalist and reporter, who, it appears, are stucked with the phrase and lacked the idea of change. There are better replacements, if only we can go the extra mile to find a suitable substitute for the over recycled “Filled to capacity” statement. A quick one to think about and find out for yourself, even as you break the monotony of “Filled to capacity.” Rather go for this, “Full to the very brim” expression, and when referring to the past or reporting, you can also safely say “Filled to the very brim” and you will sound right. Another established error that has become acceptable and generously used by most of the media houses is the expression, though stale, “…go a long way in…”
The correct usage of this phrase, as I did note earlier, is “… go a long way towards..” to express certainty or that the measure taken or put in place would yield something good and beneficial to the people. So, one can correctly write or speak “The inauguration of the 5-man boundary commission would go a long way towards solving the frequent border clashes between the two homogeneous communities set apart as a result of the creation of new states.” To round up, let’s once more get the pronunciation of the word “Epitome” correct and avoid falling on the wrong side of the divide. It is spelt and pronounced “i`pitemi”- A person or thing that is the embodiment of a perfect example of a quality of something, the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, clarifies.
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