Looking for the Missing “The”
ETH, EHT, HET, …What am I looking for, oh yes I am actually looking for article “the” which is increasingly getting scarce in the stories, despite its great significance in both written and spoken grammar. Looking for proof? Just a few snippets:
“LDU attached to 407 brigade …”
“Philip Mwaka, resident state attorney …
The absentee “ the” in the statements above, took me straight back to one of my most memorable English lessons in Primary five, when one of the most smart English teachers I ever met, gave us a challenge to differentiate between the two sentences below.
“ I met a girl who stole my shoes”.
“I met the girl who stole my shoes”.
Why are the two sentences important? Nothing best explains the two, like the vivid explanation that my teacher gave. “In the first sentence, a girl is not specific, she could even be a suspect, while in the second sentence, “The” girl being referred to is a specific gir, known to both the writer and the listener.
Therefore Phillip is the resident state attorney and so is the LDU attached to the 407 brigade.
Let’s not send “the” on vacation, lest we loose our track to meaningful statements.
“A rift valley has erupted in Ibanda …” Reffering to a rift has emerged.
“Police are sidelining with drivers to break traffic rules” … reffering to police are siding with drivers…
And these two Quirky and odd intros made my day
“Hundreds of Potato Farmers in Kabale District including Beans, Maize and Peas are worried over their crops which are being destroyed by the Floods on the Wetlands Every time it rains”.
“Mucwini Sub County in Kitgum District risks being run by the district this financial year, after failing to pass the Sub County budget since the dateline of 31st August 2011…! Please lets find a diction spanner to fix them.
Quote of the week: “Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think every day, about something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.”
– Christopher Morley
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