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Clue To Grammatical Blunders- A Review

Posted: Jul 5, 2015 at 12:38 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Title:  Guide To Commonly Misused Words And Expressions

Author: Celestine Amoke

Reviewer: Chibuike Chukwu


This book, Guide To Commonly Misused Words And Expressions, highlights some of the commonly confused and misused words and expressions in English Language. It consequently guides readers on the right ways to use some of these words and expressions. The essence of the book is to make the reader an effective communicator and a master of the language.

Oftentimes, we have found ourselves in the dilemma of wrongly encoding words to mean different things from what we intended.

Sometimes, we hear people say communication has taken place as long as the parties involved understand what is being discussed. That may be permitted in a non-formal setting only.

This is why this book is highly recommended for students, teachers and professionals in all fields of human endeavour.

Beginning from chapter one, the reader is introduced to classification of words in English Language and their functions, which is called parts of speech. These parts of speech include noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, preposition, conjunction and interjection.

The author went down to make the various parts of speech as explicit as possible, with huge emphasis on all classes of readers.

In the second chapter, the writer takes so much effort in explaining what we have come to know as homonyms, homophones, antonyms and synonyms. Homophones are words that sound alike but they not only differ in meaning, but also differ in spelling and usage.

For instance, ACCEDE and EXCEED may sound alike, but they are spelt differently and mean different things. Similarly, ADVICE and ADVISE may sound alike but they are spelt differently and have different meanings.

Homonyms, on its own, are words spelt alike and have similar sound but differ in meaning. For example, while HIDE means animal skin, it equally means to conceal (e.g. something).

Antonym are words, which are opposite in meaning. For these words, you can easily determine their opposite, e.g. open and close, short and long etc.

Lastly, synonym is a word that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word. There are, however, confusing ones, which the writer pointedly explained in detail.

In chapter three, the author chronicled how statements of ambiguities, tautologies and wrong expressions tend to wrongly affect the real meaning of sentences. For example, he uses egg as an example.

Saying ‘the egg is circular in shape’ amounts to tautology since circular has taking the place of shape.

On account of these, this book must be made a priority to both students and professionals, and also those desiring further knowledge in English Language.

The author, in chapter four, listed so many figurative expressions and their meanings, usage and context. Such expressions as ‘chicken hearted’, ‘to clean the Augean stable’, ‘to call the tune’, ‘to be at daggers drawn’, among so many others, were fully explained with examples.

This book obviously will be of immense relevance to professional and budding writers, columnists, journalists and students at large.

In English Language, so many words that are spoken today are incidentally imported from other foreign languages.

In the fifth chapter of this book, the author listed so many of the words and where they were taken from.

For instance, Latin, French, Italian and German languages have provided a good chunk of foreign words imported into English Language.

Words like Fiancé, Fiancée, Finesse, Malaise, Sine qua non, Bonafide, Rendezvous, among so many others, were not originally English. The author, in this chapter, listed and explained more than 60 of such words.

In the sixth and the last chapter, the book touches on the area that affects virtually everybody, whether literates or illiterates. Incidentally, this is one area that has accounted for mass failures in any English Language examination.

Amoke, the author of the book, is a veteran journalist, who has spent over 25 years in national newspapers and magazines, processing materials for publication.

This book is the product of his vast experience in editing the works of others. Amoke was educated at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication. He also studied for a Master Degree in Communication Arts from the University of Ibadan.

Conclusively, this book is an answer to lingering grammatical flaws observed in the day-to-day use of English Language in verbal and written situations. As said earlier, this is a product of the author’s in-depth research and years of experience as a practicing journalist and an editor of people’s works.