It is common these days to hear or listen to the majority of people, including the sophisticated and not too learned persons vocalizing the two-syllable word, ‘send forth’ as a substitute or synonym for the noun ‘send-off ’ which indicate a gathering of people to wish good luck to someone who is leaving, according to the Oxford dictionary of current English. To the disappointment of the masters and purists of the language, the coinage, ‘send forth,’ which I think is another Nigerian invention or bastardization of pure English, appears to have blotted out or taken over from the correct one, ‘send-off.’ There are several of them that have turned out to be the normal which are mimicked and recycled even among journalists or reporters and given prominence in the news bulletins on radio and television, not even the print media are spared in the madness to short change the Standard English.
A typical example is the outrageous use of the aberration, ‘upliftment,’ invented by the Nigerian pastor to tell of the uncommon blessing one would receive who donates generously to the church or for the upkeep of the pastor. To put it simple, ‘upliftment’ is a Nigerian coinage that cannot be found in the English lexicon. Try to do this assignment, type out ‘upliftment,’ on your desk/laptop; you will immediately be reminded that the word does not exist with a red mark/line underscored. The correct usage or that what they meant to say, is ‘uplift’ or ‘uplifting.’ The verb ‘uplift,’ is to raise one’s hope or make someone happy or the adjective ‘uplifting,’ is to give someone a feeling of fresh hope or happiness. Back to our lesson of the week, the word ‘send forth,’ as interpreted by the dictionary, is to produce something, to give out or produce somebody or something.
It also could be a thing that fascinates you and you send forth a cry of joy. In other word, ‘send forth’ is erroneously used as a replacement for ‘send-off.’ The statement ‘send-off ’ could as well imply to dispatch something in a mail, send somebody away, either on an errand or by way of dismissal. The most probable one many people talk about is to bid somebody farewell or to say goodbye or good luck to somebody who is leaving, the good dictionary explained. One can correctly write, for example, ‘the people have finalized arrangement to send-off the school principal who has been posted to another town.’ Don’t be tempted to mimic everything you hear or listen to, find out and refuse to follow the crowd. That way one would not be found wanting as it concerns the language of mass communication. The expression, ‘send forth,’ as you now know can never take the place of ‘send-off ’ neither would it blots it out.
Again, try as much as possible to step down ‘send forth’ when it crosses your mind to think of a befitting ‘send-off ’ to the one you cherish or love. You can go the extra mile to give him or her, who you think has done well, a good treatment by sending him/her off in grand style. To wrap up, let’s remind ourselves of the stale and redundant expression ‘flag bearer’ which still occupies the front burner when we think of politics. Some writers, journalists and even the reporters are yet to dump ‘flag bearer’ in their reportage and go for something fresher and up to date. Just recently, I listened to a popular radio station reporter mentioning the stale expression, ‘flag bearer’ and cringed in amazement. So this reporter or the station concerned is yet to purge itself of the redundant statement, ‘flag bearer’? I asked. Let’s stop slumbering and exercise authority over our calling. The sentence, ‘flag bearer’ when we are talking about the ‘standard bearers’ of the ruling All Progressives Congress-APC and the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party-PDP, is no longer in vogue. Instead, talk about ‘standard bearer, torch bearer’ in place of ‘flag bearer,’ now regarded as obsolete.