Puzzled on how you can get that contract signed, though you’re miles away in Malawi on vacation, while your office work is taking a breather in Cape Town? Or if you’re more into my profession, expatriated to go work that rig in Nigeria while you string up some book cords in China? Or hoping to catch that agency in some nifty legal work?
Welcome to the world of digital signing and signatures! I assume you’ve heard of tycoon digital companies like Adobe and Microsoft who offer to secure your document to millions all across the world, which they do extraordinarily well if I may add. Not ignoring the ‘ka-chingin’ purses on their way home too. I think they’ve made a whopping business out of this security thing and all. Little said about Bill Gate’s Millennium Bug rightly giving everyone on Planet Mars a nasty stinger…
Yet, Digital security is the ‘in’-thing, and not bracing up to it could cost you. Mega Multinational Companies like Google, YaHoo, Facebook and more of those companies that sound like something most likely to be pulled from a handbag, or even those fruity companies like Blackberry and Apple spend fortunes on their servers even though they crash, spend fortunes archiving and updating files even though you delete them, and taking server snapshots from time to time because they like to burn a fortune since you can’t afford to or just for the simple fun of reminding themselves that they can. Fortunately for us, poorer folks, it opens a brand new closet  of legal works and copyright protection laws. Whoosh! Well done megabytes and welcome microcontracts!

How It Works
Have you ever heard of the myth of primary copyright? That myth that goes by mail from the doorway to the mailbox, but travels more distance you can cover cruising the interstate. Posted by you to busy those fat and out-of-shape postal workers for weeks, only to circle the city and return to the very friendly you a couple of feet away at your mailbox? Yes, Digital contracts are more like that. Email companies keep gizillion records on their servers; documents, mp3 files, pictures, date, time, source codes, and so on. These files are backed up regularly and can always be found in a dusty archive somewhere or a hacker’s desktop computer, if you get my drift? Nonetheless, they are always present in cyberspace and anyone with the “right” access can always get a copy. Much of what you see on TV. Only this is a non-fiction piece. the sweetest part of it all is that they are all neatly archived and dated and timed! Wow! Would you look at that.
Computers really do, do all the work, and are better organized at it!
As much as robbers/killers do a fine job of leaving a paper trail or the more sinister body trail, online servers keep a document or file trail. A very well documented one at that; Date Sent. Time Sent. File Size. Network Speed. You name it. Down to the last byte and nanosecond. There are records. And not by one server alone, since we all know servers are like bridges. If you don’t know, don’t expect to be taught you the 101’s of early 19th century computer tech in a flimsy blog post. Go get Networking for Dummies 101 or something. On the contrary, much to my pleasure and in simpler words, it’d be dumb for anyone to think only one server made the internet! So when one file (if you’re expecting me to use the word ‘document’ or ‘mp3’ anymore, you’d be crazy slowpoke) jumps from your computer to another via the World Wide Server Bridge, it be more like leaving a shit-trail from one end of the aisle to your bride at the other end of the aisle. And everyone dressed for the occasion and present at the  WWW address ( World Wide Wedding ) can smell and see clearly whodunnit! Yes? No. Yikes!
You’re logged in to your email account and there’s no where else to go. The other party is in the same predicament. So, we can just skip the small talk and go ahead and sign out agreement. Remember, you’re probably 550 miles apart. Probably never even smelt your breaths. So, you create/append a file and send it from you to a god-knows-who. The other party appends the file and send it back to god-knows-you. And like pee from a bitch, you’ve both been marked by severes (oops! Forgive me. Servers). And that’s all it takes to lock you both in a gut-wrenching, law-binding contract! The crap is that simple.

Why It Works
The key factors to copyrights and contracts is who agreed to what and when. Once you can validate those key factors, you have just simplified the workings of every grandiose fine-print legally binding agreement. Every email is only accessible by one party, unless otherwise stated. And like you get your driver’s license, you have to accredit yourself or input some credentials to use your account. Now this account is exclusively for singular use, be it a person or a group of persons as one whole. Bang! There’s your cat. You see, just like a door is meant to keep people out, and by people I mean illegitimate access to your e-mail account, so every door is meant to shut whose already in, in. you can’t escape it. It’s your account and the Email companies know this. At least it tells on paper, fraud or not. and believe me, you don’t want me started on the Fraud talk. On the other hand, when the file moves. There is a file trail. Archived and waiting for someone, almost anyone, to either dig it up or threaten to dig it up. though you can simply print the registered timeline in your return mail details and avoid the blackmail. Heh..
Is it necessary if you can get your hands on these files and sue someone with it? No. Absolutely not. But, acting like you are rich is just as good as being rich. Sometimes it even pays off, and hell a lot more!!

Catch 22.
So what’s the catch. The catch is after you send the contract or copyrighted material, the second or third or a hundredth party always has to hit the Reply Mail button to validate the correspondence. Anything else like replying through a fresh mail or forwarded mail and I’ve wasted my day on you dumbheads, and broken my fingers as well.
Happy signing!

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My Experience at the New Nigerian Immigration Service (NIMS)
This is a surprisingly shocking revelation of my personal experience at the hands of Nigeria’s New Immigration System. It was not too long ago that one could ‘buy’ himself a Nigerian nationality. A few bucks and a piece of paper was all it took, to be sincere. Now, however, it is a wholly different experience.
First of all, I must explicate my not so sincere an intention to really scrutinize the new system because as we all know Nigerians have promised the world a lot of things, and in that endless list of promises is the battle against fraud and corruption; hitherto the notoriety of having the world’s largest count of internet fraudsters in one geographical state!
So after filling out the new online application for a Nigerian passport and paying for that application via a debit card, I stumble into the new Ikeja Office at Alausa with a deliberately recreated account of myself! I was of the opinion if the system was still as bad as it was ( that hour long documentary by the BBC of how easy it was to procure a Nigerian passport), it was more than certain this too would slip their notice.
So I did it. But after an hour passed, sitting under the stifling humid air outside the NIMs office waiting for someone to attend to me, it slowly dawned on me to ask the PRO what in the world was going on? Or causing all the delay?Nigerians and their inefficiency! Or that was what I thought.
A boy too young to be a man sits beside me. Or was he a man so young he could pass for a boy? Whatever the case, he was the first to get the gavel. To my amazement I watched him defend himself to a growing crowd of officers. But in the end, the end of very a lengthy cross-examination, this young man is ‘denied’ a Nigerian passport! Note the transitive verb ‘deny’ which means to refuse a request, to refuse to let somebody have or do something, is used.
To my surprise, that was not to be the end of my experience.
Right from the office of the PRO, an officer basically hands me over to the SC, which in some enigmatic way must have to stood for Assistant to the Passport Control Officer (I’d rather you not ask me how), and then they bounce me about the entire building for a while. A time long enough to exhaust a whole day, to my chagrin, but in the end lead me into a very small room to have my picture taken! And now, that’s when the other drama happens. An elderly woman too old to mother a baby is ushered in line to have her baby’s picture taken! Only to face a barrage of anti-trafficking questions after the baby’s picture and details are adroitly recorded.
Are you the mother? Then why is your photo not in this application ma’am? Where is the mother? Who is the guardian? Do have any form of identity on you? Let us have the baby’s details taken. Whoa!
Nigeria now denies passports to paying applicants? Oh my.
Believe me, I found the entire process relatively easy but breathtakingly fierce.
Yes! There were times that stubborn old ‘Nigerian factor’ (and this is me quoting the SC as saying what basically stands a synonym for ‘Nigerian ineffiency’) reared its ugly head. One of such was the depressingly long queuing process and the unnecessary hours I wasted sitting by the bleachers waiting on a ‘lost’ or what was to be later renamed ‘nameless’ file despite it just sitting in the middle of a swarm of migration officers. Or the fact that my name was in Bold print atop that Nameless File.
Now, back to my gimmickry. When it was my turn, it was easy for the networked computers to find out my omissions (or be it commission?) and so readjust my application to RE-ISSUE my old passport and all its failed or passed visas, and not just render what might have ended up being a FRESH PASSPORT with no history what so ever.
In the end, it was kind of pleasant to be found out. So to those fraudsters who try to buy their way into a nationality, or falsify their known identities, we best wish them luck at the NIMS because it seems Nigeria intends to keep her promises this time.
Another fun fact: No money changed hands. Either over or under the counter all the time I spent there. Now is that an accomplishment? I mean the literal absence of the green paper for what some tag as one of Africa’s most corrupt countries?
It’s a welcomed change.
Tn Odu
Freelance writer, Indie Book Author, and Publisher for Phantom House Books Ngr

Location: Nigeria
Phantom House Books NGR
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Phantom House Books offers its clientele the best of the advances in contemporary publishing, and prides
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and start putting our books out there. We are here to structure the literary landscape, and with the aid of
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of inspiration our strength, and our wellspring of highly adorned writers our fortitude. Newer things are
coming our way, Nigeria!
Where to find Phantom House Books NGR online
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The Eternals (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/415151) on March 07, 2014
I’m totally getting this book. it better not be too costly, ‘cos i’m sworn to buy. You had be drooling
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cheap.

English is the most widely spoken language in the history of our planet, used in some way by at least one out of every seven human beings around the globe.  Half of the world’s books are written in English, and the majority of international telephone calls are made in English.  Sixty percent of the world’s radio programs are beamed in English, and more than seventy percent of international mail is written and addressed in English.  Eighty percent of all computer texts, including all web sites, are stored in English.

     English has acquired the largest vocabulary of all the world’s languages, perhaps as many as two million words, and has generated one of the noblest bodies of literature in the annals of the human race.  Nonetheless, it is now time to face the fact that English is a crazy language — the most loopy and wiggy of all tongues.

In what other language do people drive in a parkway and park in a driveway?  

In what other language do people play at a recital and recite at a play?  

Why does night fall but never break and day break but never fall?  

Why is it that when we transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when we transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?

Why does a man get a hernia and a woman a hysterectomy?

Why do we pack suits in a garment bag and garments in a suitcase?   

Why do privates eat in the general mess and generals eat in the private mess?

Why do we call it newsprint when it contains no printing but when we put print on it, we call it a newspaper?

Why are people who ride motorcycles called bikers and people who ride bikes called cyclists? 

Why — in our crazy language — can your nose run and your feet smell?

     Language is like the air we breathe.  It’s invisible, inescapable, indispensable, and we take it for granted.  But, when we take the time to step back and listen to the sounds that escape from the holes in people’s faces and to explore the paradoxes and vagaries of English, we find that hot dogs can be cold, darkrooms can be lit, homework can be done in school, nightmares can take place in broad daylight while morning sickness and daydreaming can take place at night, tomboys are girls and midwives can be men, hours — especially happy hours and rush hours — often last longer than sixty minutes, quicksand works very slowly, boxing rings are square, silverware and glasses can be made of plastic and tablecloths of paper, most telephones are dialed by being punched (or pushed?), and most bathrooms don’t have any baths in them.  In fact, a dog can go to the bathroom under a tree —  no bath, no room; it’s still going to the bathroom.  And doesn’t it seem a little bizarre that we go to the bathroom in order to go to the bathroom?

     Why is it that a woman can man a station but a man can’t woman one, that a man can father a movement but a woman can’t mother one, and that a king rules a kingdom but a queen doesn’t rule a queendom?  How did all those Renaissance men reproduce when there don’t seem to have been any Renaissance women?

     Sometimes you have to believe that all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane: 

In what other language do they call the third hand on the clock the second hand?

Why do they call them apartments when they’re all together?

Why do we call them buildings, when they’re already built?

Why it is called a TV set when you get only one?

Why is phonetic not spelled phonetically?  

Why is it so hard to remember how to spell mnemonic? 

 Why doesn’t onomatopoeia sound like what it is?  

Why is the word abbreviation so long?  

Why is diminutive so undiminutive?  

Why does the word monosyllabic consist of five syllables?  

Why is there no synonym for synonym or thesaurus? 

And why, pray tell, does lisp have an s in it? 

     English is crazy.

     If adults commit adultery, do infants commit infantry?  If olive oil is made from olives, what do they make baby oil from?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian consume?  If pro and con are opposites, is congress the opposite of progress?

     Why can you call a woman a mouse but not a rat — a kitten but not a cat?  Why is it that a woman can be a vision, but not a sight — unless your eyes hurt?  Then she can be “a sight for sore eyes.”   

     A writer is someone who writes, and a stinger is something that stings.  But fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, hammers don’t ham, humdingers don’t humding, ushers don’t ush, and haberdashers do not haberdash.  

     If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn’t the plural of booth be beeth?  One goose, two geese — so one moose, two meese?  One index, two indices — one Kleenex, two Kleenices?  If people ring a bell today and rang a bell yesterday, why don’t we say that they flang a ball?  If they wrote a letter, perhaps they also bote their tongue.  If the teacher taught, why isn’t it also true that the preacher praught?  Why is it that the sun shone yesterday while I shined my shoes, that I treaded water and then trod on the beach, and that I flew out to see a World Series game in which my favorite player flied out?

     If we conceive a conception and receive at a reception, why don’t we grieve a greption and believe a beleption?  If a firefighter fights fire, what does a freedom fighter fight?  If a horsehair mat is made from the hair of horses, from what is a mohair coat made?  

     A slim chance and a fat chance are the same, as are a caregiver and a caretaker, a bad licking and a good licking, and “What’s going on?” and “What’s coming off?”  But a wise man and a wise guy are opposites.  How can sharp speech and blunt speech be the same and quite a lot and quite a few the same, while overlook and oversee are opposites?  How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell the next?

     If button and unbutton and tie and untie are opposites, why are loosen and unloosen and ravel and unravel the same?  If bad is the opposite of good, hard the opposite of soft, and up the opposite of down, why are badly and goodly, hardly and softly, and upright and downright not opposing pairs?  If harmless actions are the opposite of harmful actions, why are shameful and shameless behavior the same and pricey objects less expensive than priceless ones?  If appropriate and inappropriate remarks and passable and impassable mountain trails are opposites, why are flammable and inflammable materials, heritable and inheritable property, and passive and impassive people the same?  How can valuable objects be less valuable than invaluable ones?  If uplift is the same as lift up, why are upset and set up opposite in meaning?  Why are pertinent and impertinent, canny and uncanny, and famous and infamous neither opposites nor the same?  How can raise and raze and reckless and wreckless  be opposites when each pair contains the same sound?

     Why is it that when the sun or the moon or the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible; that when I clip a coupon from a newspaper I separate it, but when I clip a coupon to a newspaper, I fasten it;  and that when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I shall end it?

     English is a crazy language.

     How can expressions like “I’m mad about my flat,” “No football coaches allowed,” “I’ll come by in the morning and knock you up,” and “Keep your pecker up” convey such different messages in two countries that purport to speak the same English?

     How can it be easier to assent than to dissent but harder to ascend than to descend?  Why is it that a man with hair on his head has more hair than a man with hairs on his head; that if you decide to be bad forever, you choose to be bad for good; and that if you choose to wear only your left shoe, then your left one is right and your right one is left?  Right?

     Small wonder that we English users are constantly standing meaning on its head.  Let’s look at a number of familiar English words and phrases that turn out to mean the opposite or something very different from what we think they mean:

A waiter.  Why do they call those food servers waiters, when it’s the customers who do the waiting?

I could care less.  I couldn’t care less is the clearer, more accurate version.  Why do so many people delete the negative from this statement?  Because they are afraid that the n’t…less  combination will make a double negative, which is a no-no.

I really miss not seeing you.  Whenever people say this to me, I feel like responding, “All right, I’ll leave!”  Here speakers throw in a gratuitous negative, not, even though I really miss seeing you is what they want to say.

The movie kept me literally glued to my seat.  The chances of our buttocks being literally epoxied to a seat are about as small as the chances of our literally rolling in the aisles while watching a funny movie or literally drowning in tears while watching a sad one.  We actually mean The movie kept me figuratively glued to my seat — but who needs figuratively, anyway?    

A non-stop flight.  Never get on one of these.  You’ll never get down.

A near miss.  A near miss is, in reality, a collision.  A close call is actually a near hit.

My idea fell between the cracks.  If something fell between the cracks, didn’t it land smack on the planks or the concrete?  Shouldn’t that be my idea fell into the cracks (or between the boards)? 

A hot water heater.  Who heats hot water?  This is similar to garbage disposal.  Actually, the stuff isn’t garbage until after you dispose of it.

A hot cup of coffee.  Here again the English language gets us in hot water.  Who cares if the cup is hot?  Surely we mean a cup of hot coffee.

Doughnut holes.  Aren’t those little treats really doughnut balls?  The holes are what’s left in the original doughnut.  (And if a candy cane is shaped like a cane, why isn’t a doughnut shaped like a nut?)

I want to have my cake and eat it too.  Shouldn’t this timeworn cliché be I want to eat my cake and have it too?  Isn’t the logical sequence that one hopes to eat the cake and then still possess it?

A one-night stand.  So who’s standing?  Similarly, to sleep with someone.  Who’s sleeping?

I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth.  Let the word go out to the four corners of the earth that ever since Columbus we have known that the earth doesn’t have any ends.

It’s neither here nor there.  Then where is it?

Extraordinary.  If extra-fine means “even finer than fine”  and extra-large “even larger than large,” why doesn’t extraordinary mean “even more ordinary than ordinary”?  

The first century B.C.  These hundred years occurred much longer ago than people imagined.  What we call the first century B.C. was, in fact the last century B.C.

Daylight saving time.  Not a single second of daylight is saved by this ploy.

The announcement was made by a nameless official.  Just about everyone has a name, even officials.  Surely what is meant is “The announcement was made by an unnamed official.”

Preplan, preboard, preheat, and prerecord.  Aren’t people who do this simply planning, boarding, heating, and recording?  Who needs the pretentious prefix?  I have even seen shows “prerecorded before a live audience,” certainly preferable to prerecording before a dead audience.

Pull up a chair.  We don’t really pull a chair up; we pull it along the ground.  We don’t pick up the phone; we pick up the receiver.  And we don’t really throw up; we throw out.    

Put on your shoes and socks.  This is an exceedingly difficult maneuver.  Most of us put on our socks first, then our shoes.

A hit-and-run play.  If you know your baseball, you know that the sequence constitutes “a run-and-hit play.”

The bus goes back and forth between the terminal and the airport. Again we find mass confusion about the order of events.  You have to go forth before you can go back.

I got caught in one of the biggest traffic bottlenecks of the year.  The bigger the bottleneck, the more freely the contents of the bottle flow through it.  To be true to the metaphor, we should say, I got caught in one of the smallest traffic bottlenecks of the year.

Underwater and underground.  Things that we claim are underwater and underground are obviously surrounded by, not under the water and ground.

I lucked out. To luck out sounds as if you’re out of luck.  Don’t you mean I lucked in?

     Because we speakers and writers of English seem to have our heads screwed on backwards, we constantly misperceive our bodies, often saying just the opposite of what we mean:

Watch your head.  I keep seeing this sign on low doorways, but I haven’t figured out how to follow the instructions.  Trying to watch your head is like trying to bite your teeth.

They’re head over heels in love.  That’s nice, but all of us do almost everything head over heels.  If we are trying to create an image of people doing cartwheels and somersaults, why don’t we say, They’re heels over head in love?

Put your best foot forward.  Now let’s see…. We have a good foot and a better foot — but we don’t have a third — and best — foot.  It’s our better foot we want to put forward.  This grammar atrocity is akin to May the best team win.  Usually there are only two teams in the contest.  Similarly, in any list of bestsellers, only the most popular book is genuinely a bestseller.  All the rest are bettersellers.

Keep a stiff upper lip.  When we are disappointed or afraid, which lip do we try to control?  The lower lip, of course, is the one we are trying to keep from quivering.

 I’m speaking tongue in cheek.  So how can anyone understand you?

Skinny.  If fatty means “full of fat,” shouldn’t skinny mean “full of skin”?

They do things behind my back.  You want they should do things in front of your back?

They did it ass backwards.  What’s wrong with that?  We do everything ass backwards.

     English is weird.

     In the rigid expressions that wear tonal grooves in the record of our language, beck can appear only with call, cranny with nook, hue with cry, main with might, fettle only with fine, aback with taken, caboodle with kit, and spick and span only with each other.  Why must all shrifts be short, all lucre filthy, all bystanders innocent, and all bedfellows strange?  I’m convinced that some shrifts are lengthy and that some lucre is squeaky clean, and I’ve certainly met guilty bystanders and perfectly normal bedfellows.

     Why is it that only swoops are fell?  Sure, the verbivorous William Shakespeare invented the expression “one fell swoop,” but why can’t strokes, swings, acts, and the like also be fell?  Why are we allowed to vent our spleens but never our kidneys or livers?  Why must it be only our minds that are boggled and never our eyes or our hearts?  Why can’t eyes and jars be ajar, as well as doors?  Why must aspersions always be cast and never hurled or lobbed?

     Doesn’t it seem just a little wifty that we can make amends but never just one amend; that no matter how carefully we comb through the annals of history, we can never discover just one annal; that we can never pull a shenanigan, be in a doldrum, eat an egg Benedict, or get just one jitter, a willy, a delirium tremen, or a heebie-jeebie.  Why, sifting through the wreckage of a disaster, can we never find just one smithereen?

     Indeed, this whole business of plurals that don’t have matching singulars reminds me to ask this burning question, one that has puzzled scholars for decades: If you have a bunch of odds and ends and you get rid of or sell off all but one of them, what do you call that doohickey with which you’re left?

     What do you make of the fact that we can talk about certain things and ideas only when they are absent?  Once they appear, our blessed English doesn’t allow us to describe them.  Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown?  Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, sheveled, gruntled, chalant, plussed, ruly, gainly, maculate, pecunious, or peccable?  Have you ever met a sung hero or experienced requited love?  I know people who are no spring chickens, but where, pray tell, are the people who are spring chickens?  Where are the people who actually would hurt a fly?  All the time I meet people who are great shakes, who can cut the mustard, who can fight City Hall, who are my cup of tea, who would lift a finger to help, who would give you the time of day, and whom I would touch with a ten-foot pole, but I can’t talk about them in English — and that is a laughing matter.

     If the truth be told, all languages are a little crazy.  As Walt Whitman might proclaim, they contradict themselves.  That’s because language is invented, not discovered, by boys and girls and men and women, not computers.  As such, language reflects the creative and fearful asymmetry of the human race, which, of course, isn’t really a race at all.  

     That’s why we wear a pair of pants but, except on very cold days, not a pair of shirts.  That’s why men wear a bathing suit and bathing trunks at the same time.  That’s why brassiere is singular but panties is plural.   That’s why there’s a team in Toronto called the Maple Leafs and another in Minnesota called the Timberwolves.

     That’s why six, seven, eight, and nine change to sixty, seventy, eighty, and ninety, but two, three, four, and five do not become twoty, threety, fourty, and fivety.  That’s why first-degree murder is more serious than third-degree murder but a third-degree burn is more serious than a first-degree burn. That’s why we can open up the floor, climb the walls, raise the roof, pick up the house, and bring down the house.

     In his essay “The Awful German Language,” Mark Twain spoofs the confusion engendered by German gender by translating literally from a conversation in a German Sunday school book: “Gretchen. Wilhelm, where is the turnip?  Wilhelm.  She has gone to the kitchen.  Gretchen. Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?  Wilhelm. It has gone to the opera.”  Twain continues: “A tree is male, its buds are female, its leaves are neuter; horses are sexless, dogs are male, cats are female — tomcats included.”

     Still, you have to marvel at the unique lunacy of the English language, in which you can turn a light on and you can turn a light off and you can turn a light out, but you can’t turn a light in; in which the sun comes up and goes down, but prices go up and come down — a gloriously wiggy tongue in which your house can simultaneously burn up and burn down and your car can slow up and slow down, in which you fill in a form by filling out a form, in which your alarm clock goes off by going on, in which you are inoculated for measles by being inoculated against measles, in which you add up a column of figures by adding them down, and in which you first chop a tree down — and then you chop it up.

 

Culled from English is a Crazy Language By Richard Lederer. Courtesy: projectenglish.org

REad him here: http://members.home.net/emallory/ez-store/lederer.html

I’m quite positive you must have heard the phrase ‘Nigerians don’t read?’ trotting about. Or is it the more widely rumoured ‘Blacks don’t read?’ line of presumption. Maggots. What a chuffing lie! The appropriate question would be ‘Nigerians don’t read what?’
You see Nigeria is not your ordinary country! Many of you would agree with me. She defies problems, in as much as she defies solutions. One needs to be bold to say that because like every ambitious self willed woman woman, her way of doing things is left entirely to her judgment and the ‘enigmania’ of her zeigest. So, despite that her industries are fiailing, we can see that many of her authors have turned to self-publishing (a number of whom i have personally giving the go ahead) in the face of the ruinous publishing landscape ( as you might have noticed, i just can’t reiretate this enough, hoping i don’t have to cite the death Farafina Books for you to get my point ). And with that, a change in her literary landscape. A change that eats into her intellect or the awareness of her people. A change that comes as no surprise at all because readers need writers in as much writers need readers.
A country that flourishes with second hand novels and poorly written self-help books at the local markets! abi, i lie? Not forgetting the blog posts we visit. You being such an example. But did anyone see this coming? would anyone have seen this coming in the face of all this turmoil? Not us. Not the publishing industry. Not even the government!
Even more startling is that, in the face all this, who would have predicted the entrance of electronic books to change everything? Moreso, the cost of reading in a struggling Third World country like Nigeria herself. But we are, reading what we afford. What we can afford? Just think of it? are we selling educational materials or isn’t that what publishing is supposed to be? what is affordable to any country? Which draws my attention to Nigeria’s growing zeigest for digital books.
Almost every Nigerian has a self-help eBook (legally or illegally obtained is not our focus here) for every computer they have. This desire to habour alterable books, i believe, comes from the ease of access and channels of dessiminating them. I myself can’t count the number eBooks i have on my computer alone, set aside my smartphones and google drive.
So, as is the creed for the piracy, the only answer I can give is ‘when a country hungers for knowledge, it will do anything to get it.’
In the end, i have learnt to trust Nigeria in believing she knows best for herself, in much the same way i have learnt to trust myself! which is the only reason i still encourage self-publishing in the face of the fact most self-published titles turn up overly price for such a fragile economy. Unlike the cost of an eBook that’s a mere N150 when you use your Naira Mastercard!
So the statement ‘Nigerians don’t read’ is a classic fallacy. The question ‘Nigerians don’t read what?’ is the question, cause all we Nigerians need do is download Calibre for our computers or BlueFire reader for our smartphones all FoC (what we know as Free Of Charge or Awuf) and we have an endless supply of all we need to read from sites like smashwords!

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If you use Americanisms just to show you know them, people may find you a tad tiresome, so be discriminating. Many American words and expressions have passed into the language; others have vigour, particularly if used sparingly. Some are short and to the point (so prefer lay off to make redundant). But many are unnecessarily long (so use and not additionally, car not automobile, company not corporation, court not courtroom or courthouse, transport not transportation, district not neighbourhood, oblige not obligate, rocket not skyrocket, stocks not inventories unless there is the risk of confusion with stocks and shares). Spat and scam, two words beloved by some journalists, have the merit of brevity, but so do row and fraud; squabble and swindle might sometimes be used instead. The military, used as a noun, is nearly always better put as the army. Gubernatorial is an ugly word that can almost always be avoided.

Other Americanisms are euphemistic or obscure (so avoid affirmative action, rookies, end runs, stand-offs, point men, ball games and almost all other American sporting terms). Do not write meet with or outside of: outside America, nowadays, you just meet people. Do not figure out if you can work out. To deliver on a promise means to keep it. A parking lot is a car park. Use senior rather than ranking, rumpus rather than ruckus,and rumbustious rather than rambunctious.

Put adverbs where you would put them in normal speech, which is usually after the verb (not before it, which usually is where Americans put them). Choose tenses according to British usage, too. In particular, do not fight shy—as Americans often do—of the perfect tense, especially where no date or time is given. Thus Mr Bush has woken up to the danger is preferable to Mr Bush woke up to the danger, unless you can add last week or when he heard the explosion.

Prefer doctors to physicians and lawyers to attorneys. They rest from their labours at weekends, not on them and during the week their children are at school, not in it.

In an American context you may run for office (but please stand in countries with parliamentary systems) and your car may sometimes run on gasoline instead of petrol. But if you use corn in the American sense you should explain that this is maize to most people (unless it is an old chestnut). Trains run from railway stations, not train stations. The people in them, and on buses, are passengers, not riders. Cars are hired, not rented. City centres are not central cities. Cricket is a game not a sport. London is the country’s capital, not the nation’s. Ex-servicemen are not necessarily veterans. In Britain, though cattle and pigs may be raised, children are (or should be) brought up.

Make a deep study or even a study in depth, but not an in-depth study. On-site inspections are allowed, but not in-flight entertainment. Throw stones, not rocks, unless they are of slate, which can also mean abuse (as a verb) but does not, in Britain, mean predict, schedule or nominate. Regular is not a synonym for ordinary or normal: Mussolini brought in the regular train, All-Bran the regular man; it is quite normal to be without either. Hikes are walks, not increases. Vegetables, not teenagers, should be fresh. Only the speechless are dumb, the well-dressed smart and the insane mad. Scenarios are best kept for the theatre, postures for the gym, parameters for the parabola.

Grow a beard or a tomato but not a company. By all means call for a record profit if you wish to exhort the workers, but not if you merely predict one. And do not post it if it has been achieved. If it has not, look for someone new to head the company, not to head it up.

You may program a computer but in all other contexts the word is programme.

Try not to verb nouns or to adjective them. So do not access files, haemorrhage red ink (haemorrhage is a noun), let one event impact another, author books (still less co-author them), critique style sheets, host parties, pressure colleagues (press will do), progress reports, trial programmes or loan money. Gunned down means shot. And though it is sometimes necessary to use nouns as adjectives, there is no need to call an attempted coup a coup attempt or the Californian legislature the California legislature. Vilest of all is the habit of throwing together several nouns into one ghastly adjectival reticule: Texas millionaire real-estate developer and failed thrift entrepreneur Hiram Turnipseed…

Do not feel obliged to follow American fashion in overusing such words as constituency (try supporters), perception (try belief or view) and rhetoric (of which there is too little, not too much—try language or speeches or exaggeration if that is what you mean). And if you must use American expressions, use them correctly (a rain-check does not imply checking on the shower activity).

courstesy+projectenglish.org

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We are happy to announce out partnership with largest ebook retailer, Smashwords, and Nigeria’s leading book app marketer, okadabooks comin this March! Stay informed. Keep writing! Share this.
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