November 22, 2019

Google as "goggle" and WhatsApp as "WhatsUp": Illiterate Pronunciations in Nigeria

Google as "goggle" and WhatsApp as "WhatsUp": Illiterate Pronunciations in Nigeria

Google as "goggle" and WhatsApp as "WhatsUp": Illiterate Pronunciations in Nigeria

Why do Nigerians, including educated Nigerians, pronounce Google as "goggle" and WhatsApp as "WhatsUp"?

As I pointed out in my 2015 book titled Glocal English: The Changing Face and Forms of Nigerian English in a Global World, two "O's" either make the /ʊ/ or /u:/ sound; that's why we pronounce book as "buk," good as "gud," hood as "hud," soon as "suun" etc. What explains the choice of Nigerians to pronounce Google as "goggle," which, among other things, means to look stupidly? I'm sorry, but people sound really stupid and illiterate when they call Google "goggle."

And WhatsApp as "WhatsUP"? What's up with that? Who comes up with these grating, uneducated pronunciational habits in Nigeria? Since Nigerians don't call phone apps "ups," why do they call WhatsApp "WhatsUP"?

Yes, the inventors of WhatsApp were clearly creatively playing on the informal American English expression "what's up?" (i.e., "how are you?") in the choice of the name for the app, but the name clearly has "app," not "up," in it.

Nigerians are the only people in the whole world who call WhatsApp "whatsUp." Did people miss the letter "a" in the name of the app? What sort of mass carelessness is that? Who did this to us? Before anyone says it's about differences in accents, this isn't an accent issue. It's simply carelessness. What's difficult in saying "whatsApp" and "Guugul?

© Farooq Kperogi

November 17, 2019

Why University Graduands Shouldn't Say “I am convoking/convocating today.”

Why University Graduands Shouldn't Say “I am convoking/convocating today.”

The word convocation is most often misused. It is a noun, which means:
1. a large formal assembly, e.g., of a college or university community or senior members of a church

2. the arranging or calling of a formal meeting.

3. a ceremony held in a university or college when students recieve their degrees.

The last definition, which is the focus of this post, is most commonly used and often the intended meaning whenever convocation is implied.

Why University Graduands Shouldn't Say “I am convoking/convocating today.”
The confusion, however, arises from its verb form. There is no word as “convocate,” the related verb form is “convoke.” And it present participle is “convoking.”

Also note that the verb “convoke” is not used in third sense of convocation as defined above. It means to call a formal meeting, or call people together for a meeting.

Examples
1. He convoked the leading experts on juvenile delinquency to study the situation.

2. I will be convoking them all here by 12 noon.

Convoke is a transitive verb; thus it must take an object. So, if you intend to call people to rejoice or celebrate with you on your school's convocation or on your completion of a degree programme, then the right word to use is NOT convocate, convoke, convoking, convocating.

It is totally wrong to say, for example:

1. I will be convocating today.

2. I am convocating.

3. I shall convocate today.



It is contextually and grammatically wrong to say:


1. I will be convoking today.

2. I am convoking.

3. I shall convoke today.

The sentences are also grammatically wrong because “convoke” is a transitive verb and, as such, must take an object.

It would be grammatically right (but still contextually wrong) to say:

I will convoke members of my family under this tent.

The other noun form of convocation is “convocator” (and NOT convocant), i.e., the person who calls for a formal meeting. So, you are neither a convocator nor a convocant.

The adjective is “convocative” or “convocational.” The synonyms of convocation are: assembly, assemblage, conference, congregation, gathering, or meeting.

Just as it is incorrect to say “my conference,” “my assembly,” it is also wrong to say “my convocation” since you are not the convocator, and since convocation is NOT a subject of one person.

The problem is just that most people use convocation (sense 3) the same way they use "graduation" where it is correct to say:

1. I am graduating today.

2. It's my graduation today.

However, most people, especially Nigerians, tend to localise the word “graduation” to secondary schools. There is nothing that says you shouldn't use graduation when referring to university or college. Therefore, it is safer to say:

1. Today is my graduation.

2. I am graduating today.

3. Welcome the graduand.

That is why we have the best graduating student and NOT the best convoking/convocating student(s).

© Grammar Clinic

November 03, 2019

How to Transfer Your Airtel Airtime to Other Network Users, and Vice Versa

How to Transfer Your Airtel Airtime to Other Network Users, and Vice Versa

The option to share your Airtel airtime with other network users is not novel. It has been available for a very long time. However, it appears most persons are not aware of it; thus the number of Airtel subscribers who make use of this service is quite few. The simple guide provided below will not only increase the number but will also teach you how to share your Airtel Airtime with other network (MTN, Glo, 9mobile) users within seconds.
How to Transfer Your Airtel Airtime to Other Network Users, and Vice Versa 
This service requires a personalized password. Therefore, if you haven't used Airtel's Me2U service before, it is important you change the default password, which is 1234, to your password. To do this, via SMS, type PIN [give space] your old password [give a space] your new password, and send to 432. For example, “PIN 1234 9989” and send to 432. Don't include the quotation marks when typing the message. 

Alternatively, you can:

1. Simply dial *432#

2. To change your PIN, reply with 3.

3. On the next screen, enter your current PIN, and send.

4. Next, type in your new PIN, and confirm it.

5. Your PIN will be successfully changed.

How to Send Airtel Airtime to Other Network Users
1. Simply dial *432# on your with your Airtel line.

2. Select "Airtel to other Networks" transfer by replying with 2.

3. Choose "Airtel swap" by replying with 3.

4. Type the receiver’s/beneficiary’s number. Make sure it is not an Airtel number.

5. Enter the amount you want to transfer to the number.

6. Enter your PIN, and send.

If there is any other on-screen instruction, you will have to follow it too. The Transfer will be completed immediately.

How to Transfer Airtime from One Network to the Other
If you want to transfer airtime from any other network to another network, dial *931# and follow the on-screen instructions. Dialing that allows you to transfer from your MTN line to Glo or any network or from 9mobile to Airtel and vice versa. Enjoy!