Pompous Verbosity; Ghanaman Style – By Qouphy Appiah Obirikorang
Ever since the British packed their bags and baggage and left the colonial Gold Coast, historians had to put it in the annals of history that the Ghanaman has the best accent (quite close to the British) when it comes to speaking the Queens language. Our fellow Anglophone countries (especially 9ja) admire Ghanaians for the stress-free, eloquent and effortless way we speak English.
The typical Nigerian speaks English on a “how-i-see-it” basis and has no respect for phonetics and pronunciations. English from a Nigerian sounds like an abrasive noise made from the rims of an exploded car tyre rubbing hard on an asphalt. The Liberian speaks English as if he/she is sending a telegram and is being charged per sec; words are truncated and meaningless.
Since Ghanaians have an impeccable flow of the English language, that feeling has generated into a “cancerous” disease where simple words are replaced with big words just meant to confuse the listener. Many a times such words have no bearing on the conversation and just used as a detour to sway the average mind from the issue being discussed and make the speaker look like he/she just came back from Buckingham Palace, having tea with Queen Lizzy.
Imagine a journalist asking the Chief Operational Engineer at Tema Oil Refinery (T.O.R) about the current gas shortage and what could be done to rectify the situation; the engineer will burst into an expletive and explosive technical English/jargon that will leave the poor journalist cursing the day he/she was born
Journalist: Sir, what is your department doing to arrest the current gas shortage that is now nationwide??
Harvard-trained Engineer: My fellow communications expert, the current demand on the Liquefied petroleum gas which is obtained from a catalytic conversion of Oleum and Hydrocarbons at an elevated temperature in a Catalytic converter has reached an optimum peak that overwhelms the production so the electrons can’t keep up with the huge demands. Imagine commercial taxi drivers converting their Octane 8 high grade Petra Oleum cars into an LPG one and this nonsensical behaviour which makes no sense in the engineering fraternity is also having a drastic toll on the demand and supply curve. My dear communications expert, do you have any further interrogative sentences?
Journalist: no sir! Keep your bloody catalytic converter and have a nice day!
Also imagine this same journalist interviewing a commercial sex worker on the dangers/benefits of her trade
Journalist: Young lady, what really pushed you into taking up prostitution as a full time job?
Hooker: With the current economic meltdown and increase in libidos of the married and unmarried men, I thought it wise to strategically place myself in between the supply and demand chain and make excessive profit from satisfying the loins of hungry and wayward men and inversely fattening my bank account. The dangers per se and not part of my thought process since I am insulated against all the seven killer diseases and any other galvanic diseases such as measles or chicken pox. It’s only in dire cases such as force majeure that refunds are NOT possible.
Way back in Secondary School, we had this Physics teacher (an actual Prof from an Ivy League school in UK) who was more qualified to be the General Overseer of The Ghana Atomic Energy than being a teacher. We dreaded his class because we came back from lectures more confused than we went in. There were rumors all over campus that the Prof was deported because he tried to disprove Newton’s Law of Gravity.
An extract from his typical lecture session included: “Since colloidal atomic mass circumvents the speed of light, an electron in an excited state gains more quantum and momentum and moves to the next celestial space whereby it dispenses the energy gained from the previous space thereby making it a normal electron. Bear in mind that the centrifugal force of an excited electron can be calculated by multiplying the Planck’s constant by Faraday’s constant and dividing the answer by absolute zero. You see, Physics is an exciting course and I entreat you all to take physics up to the next level maybe one of you will become a Nuclear Physicist.
I just sit at the back of the class with a zombie look and all that goes through my ‘abused’ medulla oblongata is “Nerd!! Nuclear wetin? Do excited electrons get horny”??
The icing on the pompous verbosity cake is when students from less endowed schools (such as Kwaebibrem Middle School) happens to befriend a girl from Achimota School through a student seminar and in his attempt to woo this beautiful daughter of Eve decides to construct an error-free grammar and send it to his would-be-love. He will spend the entire night memorizing The Oxford Dictionary and looking for synonyms for simple words.
My dear Akosua, since fate placed us together on the same table at the just ended “Shaping Your Destiny” confab organized by Mr. Dei Tumi, I have been having sleepless nights just paraphrasing your beautiful face in my dreams. I have many a times tried succinctly to summarize my dreams but all to no avail. My heart is out of sync with my mind and it is really having a great ill luck on both my personality and character. I am in two worlds; the simple earth where I am my normal self and the celestial heavens whenever I think of you or hear the name Akosua. The BPM (Beats Per Minute) of my heart increases tremendously whenever thoughts of you flashes through my mind.
It’s therefore not a surprise that I have started exhibiting aqua-phobic tendencies and therefore cannot have my regular bathing sessions normally. My spirit is at an all-time low now and I have also started displaying anorexic tendencies because I cannot digest protein and carbohydrate normally. My love for you is deeper than the ocean and longer than the Glo Submarine cable. I pray that another conference is organized in the near future so that I can see your pretty celestial face and hold your heavenly body that will bring me out of my current dispensation into a fabulous utopia where I can consociate with reality how beautiful love is.
For now, you remain a phantom is my wild wild west dream. Write soon because I can no longer contain my lonely heart in Kwaebibrem as suicidal thought flash through my conscious and sub-conscious mind making me experience hot flushes like a menopausal lady.
Hate it or love it, the Ghanaman is well endowed when it comes to the Queen’s language