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PEN COP: Where did ‘irregardless’ come from?

It emerged that the tender was varied from Sh3.6 billion per county to Sh3.8 billion, to Sh6.1 billion and finally to 9.4 billion (People Daily, November 28, p.2). This is a very common way of writing in Kenyan journalism. But “it emerged” is a silly way of attribution. That information did not “emerge”. From where? Name the person or report that provided it.

The anticipated expiry of Sang’s term in March 2019, although he is eligible for extension of one more term of three years, is said to be at the centre of the standoff (Star, November 28, p.4). Another common yet strange way of attribution. “It is said”. Who said? It makes sense to assume this is the reporter’s speculations.

Women danced and crowds jostled in an attempt to catch a glimpse of a woman who only last year was poised to become are MP and heir apparent to the imperious Odinga dynasty (People Daily, November 28, p.3). Two things: Either the reporter (and sub) does not know the meaning of “imperious” or used it deliberately to convey a personal opinion. Imperious means arrogant and domineering, high-handed, etcetera.

Bishop Martin Kivuva of Mombasa archdiocese said the bodies of the two will not be flown to Kenya as it is customary within Catholic traditions that priests are buried where they died (People Daily, November 28, p.7). False. There is no such Catholic tradition. Priests who die elsewhere are often (but not always) taken to their countries of birth for burial. The body of Fr Cosmas Omboto arrived from Cameroon last Thursday.

“Students were calm irregardless of rumours that police officers manning the exam centres were scaring them,” he added (Citizen Digital, November 28). Who the hell introduced this nonsensical word “irregardless” to the Kenyan lexicon?

Four traders have been charged in a court in Nairobi for selling alcohol without import and distribution licence and obstructing county officers from accessing their depot after the illicit consignment estimated to be worth Sh10 million was impounded in Nairobi on Tuesday (Nairobi News, November 28). Charged in court? Where else might they be charged? And who can make sense of the numerous facts packed into this single sentence?

The Director of Public Prosecutions put out an alert last week cautioning members of the pubic against conmen taking advantage of an advertisement for internships at the ODPP. The conmen do the following, the notice said: 1) Someone who seems to have all your details calls you on an orange line. What is an “orange line”? If the DPP meant the mobile telephone provider, it must be Orange, with capital O to differentiate it from orange the colour or fruit. 2) He directs you to go to Agakhan hospital for medical test and the results will be sent to DPP directly. What’s “Agakhan hospital”? It is called Aga Khan Hospital. See the difference?

Star, November 29, p.2: Well, when a man, only identified as WNO in court papers, bought a packet of condoms, what he considered was the brand only for it to fail him.
Standard: Beta Healthcare International, in response to a suit by Williamson Nyakweba, stated that it was the man’s carelessness of being ‘sexually explosive’ that led to his woes.
A man has sued Beta for a condom burst that led to his getting an STI, which he passed to his wife who then left him. Did the court hide the complainant’s name, as reported by the Star? On what grounds? And how did the Standard get that name?

3 thoughts on “PEN COP: Where did ‘irregardless’ come from?”

  1. You might want to desist from “Who the hell” It takes away from an article that does raise more than a few localisms in our use of the language. That last reporting has a potential disgraceful element with a name revealed. How did one media house though reveal what another hid? Editorial decision yes but odd.

    Old school training taught would be writers (journalists) to detach themselves from their story, regardless of how close they are emotionally. It was not uncommon to listen to sports commentating and only later realise the commentators covered their team at the time. Times do change but principles should remain. Objectivity and truth must remain kings. Entertaining compilation overall.

  2. As journalists we should avoid packing many words in a single para.We can break them into different, single paragraphs.

  3. In regard to the story on DPP, it is very important for a writer particularly journalist to be factual and have high accuracy level, especially when it comes to names of people, places etc. Otherwise will be misleading the public and loose credibility.

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