English is no respecter of persons. Doesn’t matter if you have a doctorate in the language, you use all the grammar checkers in the world, or you’re a newborn baby. The language will find a way to drag you and your good name through the dirt. Which is why I think there’s something seriously wrong with it. 

With its numerous rules, that were set to confuse everyone and their daddies, like the use of “will and would” which I’m convinced no-one in the entire world knows how they actually work, to the existence of homonyms, homophones, synonyms.

The “I’m vs am” wars, to the “fiancé vs fiancée” debacle, there’s nothing English has not used our eyes to see. You might use a word today and think yourself worthy of an honorary degree in the language, but the next day, you’ll use the word, and your parents will start wondering if the money they spent on your education was a waste. 

Which is why I think we should all just say “Fuck it” and use the language however the hell we want. After all, it isn’t even our first language. So, who actually cares if you use “your” instead of “you’re” or say “lylon” instead of “nylon”?

Okay, a bunch of people actually care; my editor will definitely give a million shits. And I can’t avoid her. However, you can ignore the following grammar guardians:

Your parents

You should tell them the school fees they paid has expired. However, if you don’t want a slipper thrown at you because you cherish your face too much, then only communicate with your parents through third parties, your local language or pidgin.

The English engineer

These are the people who’ll correct you unprovoked while you’re in the middle of a sentence, in public. I think you should just stop talking to these ones, cause anyone willing to jump down your throat to fix the English before it leaves your mouth is serious bad vibes and should be treated as such.

“Xri” and “WULLNP” fighters

Yes, the word you’re shortening and the full length of the word have the same number of letters, and the shortened one doesn’t make that much sense. But if they applied a little critical thinking, they’d figure it out, and if they can’t then tell them you can’t associate with people who can’t think deeply.

If people can’t see a borrowed language shouldn’t have this much hold over us, and divide us the way it has, then they’re the problem. Because who English help? The countries we’re learning English — and even taking numerous language exams for — don’t speak English half as well as we do. 

So I say, if you’ve not killed anybody because of your bad grammar by now, then all the grammar guardians will be fine if you just so happen to end your sentence with an ellipsis instead of a period. 

Besides, I’ve always been of the opinion that if you understand what the person is trying to communicate, then your irritation at their poor use of grammar and punctuations can rest.

This is Nigeria. The only language that gives you clout in these streets — something you actually need to survive — is Pidgin. English is cute when you’re writing a letter and all, but it won’t help you when you need to tell the bus conductor where you’re going, explain to your mai shayi how you like your bread and egg, or explain to the guys at Computer Village that someone just ran off with your phone



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