Thank you for allowing me space in your very fine investigative daily the Kaieteur News, by far, bar none the best example of journalism in Guyana and the Caribbean. However, after reading an article titled, “Canal man leaves home in search of work ends up dead”, I would want to use words that are not appropriate here due to my sense of decency and good journalist norms.
Over time, I’ve noted a penchant for using the phrase “Would have” in sentence construction and reported speeches which have left me wondering if the writers or the presenters who employ these words have convinced themselves that they come off as scholarly and sophisticated sounding.
A few examples from today’s article, “Jairam would have left his home and head to the city”, etc. Did he leave his home or didn’t he? Reminds me of the Shakespearean soliloquy, “To be or not to be”, etc. Another example in the article, “Jairam would have collected $1000 from his employer”. Well did he? Jairam’s father inquired at the hospital and was told, “His son would have checked himself into the hospital”. Again did he or didn’t he?
What about plain old, his son checked himself into the hospital or is it that that straightforward language is a tiny bit too ordinary? Many moons ago as a high school student attending Guyanese College on Robb Street, the late Principle Mr. Davis teaching a lesson on figure of speeches described their uses as aiding in the creation of word pictures or flowery language.
I’m supposing the writers and presenters of speeches using “Would Have” must be thinking of ‘Flowery Language’ as a phrase that I’ve used on many occasion teaching high school English in a NYC after school setting. I have read the very same story in another Guyana daily, to the point concise and informative without the use of “Would Have” this and that.
If you cannot publish this letter for whatever reason Mr. Editor, it is my hope that my observations will be brought to the attention of your writers. Please note I will continue my daily habit of filling up on the Kaieteur News.
Claudeston G. Massiah
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