Literary Discourse: Point of correction

Source: Dr. Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo | Lecturer, University of Applied Management, Germany - Ghana Campus, McCarthy Hill, Accra
Date: 2nd-march-2018 Time:  7:46:53 am

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Introduction

"Anytime a leader of the House GET UP ON HIS FEET, he should be allowed to speak",  an MP has stated on TV.

This statement is educative and informative on parliamentary affairs, but offensive to grammatical norms. Yes, it amounts to TAUTOLOGY.  Below is the explanation:

The phrasal verb "TO GET UP" means "TO BE ON FEET." In other words, when we GET UP, we are ON OUR FEET. And when we are ON OUR FEET, we GET UP. Therefore, using the two phrases at the same time in the same structure for the same effect amounts to grammatical injury of TAUTOLOGY.

In addition, it is a basic grammatical demand to add an "s" to any verb whenever the verb is conjugated into Third Person Singular in Present Simple Tense. So, in line with this rule, "GET" should be "GETS."

Correction

The fractured sentence could be treated in the following ways:

● Anytime a leader of the House GETS UP, he should be allowed to speak.

OR

● Anytime a leader of the House is ON HIS FEET he should be allowed to speak.

To avoid SEXIST LANGUAGE, a topical issue in Modern Grammar, we could also consider the noun "leader" as generic. In that case, the revised sentences could be:

● Anytime a leader of the House GETS UP, HE or SHE should be allowed to speak.

OR

● Anytime a leader of the House is ON HIS or HER FEET, He or SHE should be allowed to speak.

Alternatively, we could use the plural structure. This way, the edited sentences could be:

● Anytime leaders of the House GET UP, they should be allowed to speak.

OR

Anytime leaders of the House ARE ON THEIR FEET, they should be allowed to speak.

Conclusion

Dear reader, TAUTOLOGY is a common error in written and spoken English. In fact, we are all guilty of it. We cannot prevent it at all times, but we can learn from it at any time. So anytime we GET UP to speak, we should be wary of TAUTOLOGY, and anytime we commit the error of TAUTOLOGY, we should be ON OUR FEET to learn.

● In another development, a leading  politician has stated on TV:

● "The REASON WHY I am in opposition today is BECAUSE..."

LITERARY DISCOURSE is sorry to say that this statement is endangered by TAUTOLOGY. Below is the justification of claim:

Contextually, "reason" and "because" are synonymous. In fact, they are both devices of "cause." For that matter, it is needeless to use both of them in the same structure for the same effect at the same time. Some pendants even argue that "why" is another synonym of "reason." To these pendants, therefore, the phrase "reason why" itself is a piece of TAUTOLOGY.

The faulty construction could be corrected in the following ways:

● I am in opposition today BECAUSE...

● The REASON I am in opposition today is...

● WHY I am in opposition today is that...

Dear reader, an error of this kind is mostly occasioned by our love for more words to paint a clear picture. However, we should be reminded of our burden to ensure precision and brevity in communication.

Allah is the Best Linguist.

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