This week on Watch Your Grammar – “Deceased”

This week on #WatchYourGrammar, we take a look at two words which are often used incorrectly in Ghanaian parlance. The first of such words is DECEASED, and this word is often misused in some Ghanaian newspapers. Anytime you read, or hear, someone say “the deceased are on admission at Korle-Bu” your reaction should be that of shock, because DECEASED means DEAD. Deceased is the DIRECT opposite of alive. It is impossible for a deceased person to be alive. We cannot say “DECEASED SURVIVORS”; what we can say is this: “the victim of the attack is receiving treatment at Korle-Bu”. In a reply to our tweet on this discussion, ‏@mz_enyo asked if it was a “tautology to say the deceased died at 37 hospital. Or just say he was deceased at 37 hospital”. “The deceased died at 37 hospital” is much more correct than “he was deceased at 37 hospital”. This is because DECEASED is a noun, as well as an adjective, so to say he was “deceased at 37” will be incorrect. Confused? Let’s look at it this way: MAN and DECEASED are both nouns. Saying ‘he was DECEASED at 37 hospital’ will be like saying ‘he was MAN at 37 hospital”.

In our second lesson, we discussed how most Ghanaians often call all newspapers GRAPHIC. In proper usage, what we should say is “dailies / newspapers”. I read about the accident in the newspapers is more correct as compared to “I read about the accident in the graphic”. Remember, GRAPHIC means “visual/written or drawn or engraved/relating to or presented by a graph”.
That’s it for this week’s session of #WatchYourGrammar. We’d love to hear from you- be it questions, contributions and suggestions. Remember to watch your grammar, and see you again on Tuesday.

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