Readers' reactions to various stories
- Ngari says anybody who dare mention negatively Mwalimu Andrew, Andy Cap cartoon or Kamau Ngotho stories should be arrested and prosecuted with immediate effect.
- Rosemary Kuria says although Elias Mokua’s article advising readers not to exalt politicians was well-meant, calling them “bipolar” trivialises a serious mental disorder.
Fake email address: Peter Mbithi Mballi is miffed that a prominent personality had the gall to write a political commentary in the Saturday Nation and give a fake email address. Mr Mballi asks the Editor of the Saturday paper to blacklist the personality “for giving your readers a fake email address, which could not work”.
He says the use of a fake email address “reflects a rogue leader, not a man of integrity, and is akin to issuing bouncing cheques”. It’s dishonest and a “sign of bad faith”.
Editor: Email addresses are given as a sign of good faith and accountability on the writer’s part and are meant for interested readers to engage the writer on matters raised in the article. Fake emails defeat this purpose.
Banter is good for TV news
One man’s meat is another man’s medicine. Banter is good for TV news. It’s actually a stress therapy for some of us after a long day in the office, business, queues, traffic jam, et cetera. We must not be too conservative to embrace modern changes.
Mwalimu Andrew is doing fine
I’m extremely sad to find someone criticise Mwalimu Andrew. Anybody who dare mention negatively Mwalimu Andrew, Andy Cap cartoon or Kamau Ngotho stories should be arrested and prosecuted with immediate effect. — Kamau Ngari, Kasarani
What’s the former and what’s the latter? In his op-ed, Things Uhuru should do in the next four years to secure his legacy, published in the Daily Nation of October 31, Robert Shaw uses the expression “the latter” when he should have used “the former” in the following sentence: “Coupled with this is the huge disparity between rich and poor with a disproportionate amount of the wealth and resources going to the latter.”
Prof Themina Kader says that is an error that is fairly common amongst beginning writers and students of English, which she did not expect Robert Shaw to make.
“A comparison between two distinct entities, in this article, are the rich and the poor. Rich being the first group is former and the poor are the latter. I hope this error was a typo and not an indication of poor proof reading/semantics skills,” she writes.
Mr Shaw, who is an economic and public policy analyst, says it was a typo; he should have written “the former”. But he wonders why the editor didn’t catch the error.
Editor: Journalists avoid the use of “the former” and “the latter” because there are neater and easier ways to convey same message.
Mr Shaw could have written: “Coupled with this is the huge disparity between rich and poor with a disproportionate amount of the wealth and resources going to the rich.”
Paul Biya passes on the baton to himself
Paul Biya, in power for 35 years, was re-elected on October 19. In a cartoon published in the Daily Nation of October 24, cartoonist Munene captured the running ability of the 85-year-old Cameroonian president.
The cartoon was titled PASSING BURTON…. A teacher in Gilgil captured the amazement of many readers with: “What is that burton? Ha!”
It’s possible Munene is a baton misspeller — like many of us — but was inspired by the idiom “pass on the baton”.
The Burton most of us know is the English explorer who, with John Speke, “discovered” Lake Tanganyika in 1858 while searching for the source of the Nile River, or the Welsh film actor who co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor. Both gentlemen share the same first name, Richard.
Importance of choosing the right words
Rosemary Kuria says although Elias Mokua’s article advising readers not to exalt politicians was well-meant, calling them “bipolar” trivialises a serious mental disorder.
“Another word describing politicians' inconsistent behaviour would have been better,” she says. In his article published in the Daily Nation of October 19, Dr Mokua equated what he calls the “blah blah blah” and “braah braaah braah” of politicians with bipolar disorder, which is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings.
It’s a lifelong condition that in most cases can be treated with medication and psychological counselling.
Most of our elected leaders “lack political morality”. Maybe that is the term Dr Mokua should have stuck with.