Could it have been deliberately teased so, or just another grammatical blunder sold to innocent readers and listeners, who depend heavily on the mass media, the Newspaper, Radio and the Television to know what lies ahead to avoid making costly mistakes. However we look at it, this caption, “The show had to be put off because of funds” which popped up in one of our broadcast stations, not too long ago, speaks volume of the seeming decay that appears to infiltrate the Standard English, masterminded and circulated around by the non-conformists.
This set of people throws caution to the wind and wants to have it their own way to the utter dismay of the masters and purists of the language. Again, they argued that no person has monopoly of the language, so that strict adherent to the rules guiding the use of English, be it in the written or spoken form, should not be considered as priority. After all, they added, it is a matter of choice to engage the language as one deems it fit, so long as one is able to communicate his or her ideas to the wider audience, not minding the choice of words or phrases used to engage them.
But the language experts reject this notion in its entirety, insisting that it is dangerous and misleading. In short, the ungrammatical construction, “The show had to be put off because of funds” falls short of Standard English and lacks the necessary ingredients for effective communication. At best, the caption is rather unclear and confusing giving room for many to speculate about what the writer or speaker intended to say. It is a complex statement, to put it mildly. Never write statements that are hanging and meaningless. It distracts, and would certainly put off the reader or listener.
Weigh your words, put them in their right places and make sense. You can simply write, and straightforward too, for example, “The show had to be put off for lack of funds.” Compare the two statements and you will agree with me that the phrase, “The show had to be put off for lack of funds” sounds clearer, and that it can easily be understood without asking questions or drawing conclusions as to what the writer or speaker is talking about. Just to refresh your minds, in case you have forgotten so quickly.
The noun ‘evidence,’ indicating whether something is true or valid; also used to establish facts in a legal investigation or acceptable as testimony in a law court, going by the dictionary definition, does not condone or tolerate the plural form. ‘Evidences’ is not only a misnomer but outdated. If one should insists on talking about or referring to the quantum of exhibits to back up one’s case in the law court or at an open forum, one can correctly write, for instance, ‘mass’ or ‘pieces’ of evidence available before the court or judicial panel of inquiry.
The plural form, ‘evidences,’ to the English pragmatist, has outlived its usefulness and should be considered dead and consigned to history or the museum of expired words and phrases. Still on forbidden expressions, let’s consider this hackneyed phrase, “stakeholders” synonymous with “interest groups.” It is time we talk less of it in order not to sound boring and monotonous. There are other ways we can say it. The task to consider is to find alternative words to replace the overused “stakeholders.” We can do better and put to rest some of these forbidden words and phrases that are now being considered as overkill for fact that they are recycled day in day out.