Sunday, 13 June 2010

Nigeria: Ike follows the Babcock University cock-up too

Comment at your peril
I always welcome comments on my blogs and I do not get many. However, anyone who does leave comments has at times taken a dare, I am no shrinking violet.
Nothing gets me more than when those who leave comments on a matter that I have decided to take an authoritative stance respond without depth of reason, application of logic and lacking credence challenge those views without a modicum of rigour – to then attempt to without impeccable scholarship to qualify my views as ignorance leaves the person having tread too long on roads angels would not dare venture.
I’m English
I am no English major, but with English as my mother-tongue being the language I could first speak before any other by reason of birth and then tutelage, I could be forgiven for being particular, if not pedantic, I do not take the subject lightly.
When I wrote the blog questioning Babcock University’s use of Our Believe [1] rather than the commonly accepted use of Our Beliefs, I knew where I was coming from with the research I conducted before publishing the blog.
My view was a university with three departments that offer courses in language and the communication should not resort to improper use of phraseology or questionable contexts along with the fact that a good deal of their website had not been properly proofread.
Butt in with credibility
My advice was they constitute a panel of capable students and staff to review and edit the content as an activity that speaks to the expected rigour and application of meticulous scrutiny one would expect of a university.
Someone called Ike has now waded into the matter with two comments and in the process has incurred my wrath and I have to deal with ignorance masquerading as erudition, rhetoric disputing with reason and error seeking validation through the excuse of exceptions without authoritative example.
The comments appear below and I hope he goes back into his hole before he smokes out himself as unable, incapable and unworthy of engaging in constructive discourse.
1st Comment by Ike
Point of correction re "Nigeria: English cock-up at Babcock University"
Believe and Belief (out with the noun verb relations, the verb form "Believe" plays exceptional role in the active. For example, if you have it, it’s a belief; if you do it, you believe, that's why you have it there as "Our Believe" and not belief(s). As you know Babcock is a religious institution and it's about what they do (active). Second, to convey a particular message one uses inverted commas (“…”) in writing technical grammar , hence “lofty aim”, as against “lofty aims”. The next time you learn English grammar, try to learn about conditionals and exceptions (ausname).
My response
Dear Ike,
You offer no credentials in terms of your argument.
Incorrect usage being offered as an exception is an interesting view to take but there are no usages I can find anywhere that allow for "Our Believe".
I stand by my original comments and you only have to go through the whole website to see the so-called exceptions your bizarre attempts at erudition offer - proofreading, correct usage and distinction are expected of universities regardless of if they are religious or not.
This is a university not a tabloid where exceptional constructions, malapropisms and puns might well be the allowed without contention - English grammar cannot be given to personal (university) sentiment for the sake of entertainment or communication at its primitive best.
Then when read in context, if "lofty aim" were the only attribute, it would have sufficed, but the list of attributes in quotes, requires the declension to aims.
Regards,
Akin
2nd Comment by Ike
Mr. Akin, you wrote "Incorrect usage being offered as an exception is an interesting view to take but there are no usages I can find anywhere that allow for "Our Believe".
Now, you have a good opportunity to go and find, don't be contented with your ignorance. Learned people do well by searching and researching, good luck.
PS. As in your earlier response ("...communication at its primitive best.) should have read ("...communication at its' primitive best.)
My response appears here
Dear Ike,
I did my research and you are the one that will come across as ignorant, the only other place where I have seen “Our Believe” in use is at another offshoot of a Nigerian university, no reputable institution from my Google search has used anything other than the other forms that are correct as. “We Believe”, “Our Belief” or “Our Beliefs”.
My response was challenging you to give credence to the views you offered which you have failed to do by asking me to go and conduct more research which I would willingly do because left on its own, I have experienced too many garrulous Nigerians who shoot from the hip offering flawed logic as authoritative fact just because they can shout louder than others – it does not wash with me.
A noun or verb
As you note in your 1st comment – “For example, if you have it, it’s a belief; if you do it, you believe, that's why you have it there as "Our Believe" and not belief(s).” The first part of that clause is supported by a reference on the usage of belief and believe [2].
Whilst what you have is a belief and what you do is what you believe, what we have is definitely our belief and what we do constitutes what we believe or what we have is our beliefs.
In Do Animals Have Beliefs? [3] The writer states that ‘"Belief" is ordinarily reserved for more dignified contents, such as religious belief, political belief, or--sliding back to more quotidian issues--specific conjectures or hypotheses considered. But for Anglophone philosophers of mind in particular, and other theoreticians in cognitive science, the verb "believe" and the noun "belief" have been adopted to cover all such cases; whatever information guides an agent's actions is counted under the rubric of belief.
Belief is by usage and context strictly a noun, believe is a verb which in proper usage should not be made a noun.
Possessions to qualify
Besides, what “We do” cannot become “Our do”, as a pun or malapropism it might be allowed but it is not accepted English grammar, it is “Our doings” – there are basic rules of grammar the possessive adjective [4] “Our” which does not replace the grammatical person [5] “We” which is first person plural.
The function of an adjective [6] is to modify a noun or pronoun and no dictionary definition of believe [7,8,9,10] allows it to be used as noun, it is a verb, sometimes a transitive verb but NEVER a noun except where it is prefixed with make- as in make-believe.
Nigerian English is Bad English
The only situation where Our Believe might be allowed might be in what some might term Nigerian English [11] with in fact is pidgin English because formal Nigerian English is derivative of British English and as a consequence usages of Nigerian English are aspects of linguistic creativity or just bad grammar – for a university, we can conclusively say Our Believe is wrong and Ike should go back to kindergarten English school.
If there is any contemporary body of academic work that clearly distinguishes Nigerian English from standard English apart of parlance, nuance, inflexion or urban usage, it is time for that to have serious review so that the rules, syntax, semantics, contexts and grammar can be learnt by all including myself.
As for the other comments by Ike, I will forgive that fact that I was addressed as Mr Akin when it should have been Mr Akintayo and as for “its” and “its’” [12], are you really that ignorant?
Why have I bothered with doing the research you should have done? Well, because lazy people like you can never prove anything you say.
If there is a lesson to be learnt from all this, those who live in glass houses should never throw stones – I hear the clatter of shattering glass in your glass house of poor English – my commiserations.
One concession to Ike
Ike, if have a rebuttal to any of my views with the requisite research, to use your own words. “Now, you have a good opportunity to go and find, don't be contented with your ignorance. Learned people do well by searching and researching, good luck
I will publish your rebuttal without edition or comment as is, on my blog with a recant if necessary – my email address appears on the blog.
Sources

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