Election 2020 grammatical slip-ups

BY: Anthony Kwadwo Kyei
Election 2020 grammatical slip-ups
Election 2020 grammatical slip-ups

Every season, event or activity comes with its expressions (language) or vocabulary.

For instance, the COVID-19 season has introduced us to expressions such as quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing, lockdown, etc.

Similarly, Election 2020 ushered us into a political season that came with its expressions.

But, unfortunately, many writers and speakers of English got some of the expressions wrong.

Aftermath

With regard to choice of words, l have noticed that the use of the expression 'aftermath of the 2020 general election' has become ubiquitous. But the expression is inappropriate.

For example, carefully study the following sentence: The aftermath of the 2020 election has taught parliamentarians some useful lessons.

As a noun, aftermath means 'the consequences or after-effects of a significant unpleasant event'. Examples: A lot of rebuilding took place in the aftermath of the war.

The aftermath of the drought led to high food prices.

The assassination of the prominent politician and its immediate aftermath.

Where nothing disastrous or negative is the case, the use of 'outcome' or 'result' is appropriate.

Hence, the sentence should be rewritten as follows: The outcome of the 2020 election has taught parliamentarians some useful lessons.

The following expressions often used during political seasons are incorrect:

Electorates

The following sentence is incorrect: The candidates expressed gratitude to the electorates in their respective constituencies.

Since electorate defines the people in a country or an area who have the right to vote, thought of as a group, it is wrong to add an 's' to it.

The sentence should, therefore, be corrected as follows: The candidates expressed gratitude to the electorate in their respective constituencies.

Party faithfuls

The following sentence is incorrect:

He expressed appreciation to all the party faithfuls.

The expression 'the faithful' is plural in form; hence, it is wrong to add an 's' to it.

Therefore, the sentence should be corrected as follows: He expressed appreciation to all the party faithful.

General elections

The following sentence is incorrect: The stakes were high in the general elections.

The adjective 'general' connotes plurality; hence, there is no need to add an 's' to the count noun 'election'. The correct expression is 'general election'.

The sentence should, therefore, be corrected as follows: The stakes were high in the general election.

Contest for

The following sentence is incorrect: Three candidates contested for the Sene West seat. The expression 'contest for' is wrong; drop the preposition 'for'.

As a transitive verb, 'contest' does not take a preposition. However, when 'contest' is used as a noun, it can take the preposition 'for' as in 'Three candidates staged a contest for the Sene West seat'.

Hence, the sentence should be corrected as follows: Three candidates contested the Sene West seat.

NPP party

Carefully study the following sentence: The NPP party lost almost 30 parliamentary seats in the 2020 general election. Since the NPP is a political party, it is verbose and superfluous to add 'party' to 'NPP'.

In effect, the expression 'NPP party' means 'New Patriotic Party party'.

Similarly, avoid adding 'party' to the acronyms of the other political parties.

The word 'party' is already embedded in their acronyms.

The sentence should, therefore, be rewritten as follows: The NPP lost almost 30 parliamentary seats in the 2020 general election.

Wrestle power

The following sentence is incorrect: The National Democratic Congress (NDC) was poised to wrestle power from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 election.

The correct phrasal verb is 'wrest something from somebody or something', which means 'to take power or control with great effort'.

Hence, the incorrect sentence should be corrected as follows: The NDC was poised to wrest power from the NPP in the 2020 general election.

The writer is a proofreader.

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