Platitudes and Wit
by Peter Mugerwa
noted that, the English language is in a
. and pointed out that the
repeated use of platitudes saves people the
trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. He
then advised writers never to use a metaphor,
simile or other figure of speech they are used to
seeing in print.
and Titus, are three friends who amuse themselves
by exchanging chits during a lecture. They are
not only always determined to remain mentally
alert, but also avoid using clichés. They,
during a boring lecture, find themselves drawn (unconsciously)
into an exchange to see which one of them is at
their wits end first. Courtesy provides the
Ahmed to Titus:
I want you to get me a copy of
Achebes Things Fall Apart once
I would like you to HELP ME and leng
me YOUR copy of Things Fall Apart". A beggar
has no choice. BE POLITE. Bastard!
Though what you say is right. But, if you have
the authority, why plead? Huh? By the way, learn
to spell your words!
are human, sonny boy! Dont emphasize
mistakes that are an oversight.
After all your copy is old and has some missing
back now! You know the old broom knows all
corners of the room. Unless you polish your act,
you are going to come to naught. Now, ask for
and enjoying the exchange sends the chit to Bryan
who devours the exchange and writes thus:
hell do you think you are? (And then passes
it on to Ahmed.)
Avoid clichés. Remember Orwell? Im
not scared since barking dogs dont bite.
So who is employing clichés? Barking what?!
Hopeless bastard! Practice what you preach. Ha ha
ha! Oh, and Bryan, watch out!
Im not daunted - barking dogs . . . .
YOU ALL DISGUST ME! BE INNOVATIVE AT LEAST
ONCE IN A WHILE.
and from here on, the two slug it out.
silly of you - thought you had some sense in your
(a character in Abrahams Mine Boy
the friends corrupted to discredit each other) -
watch your remarks. You may have cause to worry.
are you asking such cowardly questions?
brains! Watch out! You are making yourself a
disgrace - our father - act your age.
exchange was between Men. How come you are
fathered us and you doubt my manliness - hopeless
you are - our father.
wonder you failed mathematics. A twenty-one year
old man cannot give birth to a thirty-two year
old person. Stupid! Bogus! daft head! GO TO HELL!
And Bryan, not
one to take defeat lying down makes sure that he
has the last word.
meet there - AMEN.