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Of Transcend And Beyond...

SAMPLE 1: 'A competent source told Sunday Vanguard that Bago's support base, however, transcends beyond the shores of the North-Central and the confines of APC as a party.' (9th Assembly Speakership: Why Northern Govs are Showing Interest in Who Emerges, Sunday Vanguard, 14 April, 2019)

I draw readers' attention to the phrase transcend beyond which occurs in the structure 'Bago's support base...transcends beyond the shores.' Readers should please note that the meaning of the word beyond is contained in the verb transcend. To transcend is to go beyond. In other words the phrase is a tautology.

Consider the following sentences: 1a) The love he has for her transcends that between a husband and his wife. 1b) The love he has for her is beyond that between a husband and his wife. 2a) His intelligence transcends that of a normal child. 2b) His intelligence is beyond that of a normal child. 3a) God's ways transcend human comprehension. 3b) God's ways are beyond human comprehension. 4a) Mysteries are phenomena that transcend intellectual conception. 4b) Mysteries are phenomena that are beyond intellectual conception. 5a) These are truths that transcend cultural boundaries. 5b) These are truths that are beyond cultural boundaries. 6a) The revelations transcend my personal experience. 6b) The revelations are beyond my personal experience. Conclusion: Only one of the two words will suffice to convey the reporter's thought. Sample 2: 'Besides reinforcing the fact that performance is central to human experience, underlining the event is the re-enactment of the life and times of Queen Moremi which illustrates the pivotal role of women in societal development...' (Ooni of Ife Shines, Sunday Vanguard, 14 April, 2019)

We are addressing a case of mistaken identity involving the present participle, underlining, which occurs in the structure: 'underlining the event is the re-enactment of the life and times...' The word underlining is here confused with underlying. To solve this problem, we must trace the two verbs to their respective basic forms: underline - underlining; underlie - underlying.

To underline something is underscore it, to emphasize it, to draw attention to its importance or seriousness. (1) The recent development in Nigeria underlined the importance of transparency and accountability. (2) The staggering statistics recently released by the Road Safety Commission has again underlined the need to have a proper driving culture in the country. (3) If nothing else, the Nigerian Civil War underlined the need for the federating units to sit down and negotiate the terms of their co-existence. (4) The Boko Haram violence underlines the extent to which religious fanaticism can go. (5) The ocean surges underline the importance of protecting nature against indiscriminate and improvidential damage.

The -ing participle form of underline is underlining: (1) Flooding has become an annual experience in Lagos, underlining the importance of having adequate drainage facilities. (2) The repeated calls for the review of the 1999 constitution seems to be underlining the obvious fact that the constitution has too many obvious lapses. (3) Underlining the relevance of technological development, the article evaluates the slow progress that has been made by many African countries. (4) The outbreak of cholera has become a recurrent phenomenon, underlining the importance of hygiene and the need for improved health facilities. (5) Underlining the need for government intervention, the symposium favoured a regime of freedom of association.

Now, the verb to underlie means to be serve as the basis of, to support underneath, to be the cause of. Its past form is underlay and its past participle form is underlain: (1) We may never know the motive that underlies that seemingly philanthropic gesture. (2) Our efforts are underlain by the desire to increase economic production. (3) Fear, no doubt, underlay the confession of his misdeeds. (4) Unrestrained ambition underlay the breach of trust that led to the killing of his beloved boss. (5) His decision to marry a second wife is underlain by lust and lack of contentment. (6) Mutual jealousy underlay the in-fighting and the eventual anarchy in the once-vibrant establishment.

The -ing participle form of underlie is underlying: (1) The underlying motive for the mass murder was vengeance. (2) The principle underlying any true revolutionary change is justice. (3) The underlying reason for the popular call for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) is the desire for regional autonomy. (4) The underlying factor behind the economic and political strength of many advanced nations is the existence of and adherence to certain core values. (5) The underlying motive for setting the bank on fire was the desire to destroy some vital records.

At any rate, let the word underlying replace underlining in the structure under examination.

Sample 3: 'He said the state government will not condone any form of violence and they will ensure that those perpetuating it would be dealt with according to the law.'(Tension in Clabar over Vandalised Billboards, The Nation, 6 January, 2019)

We examine the contextual appropriateness of the present participle perpetuating which occurs in the clause: 'those perpetuating it [destroying billboards] would be dealt with according to the law.' The context makes it clear that the word perpetuating has been used as a near synonym of the word committing as used in the expression 'committing atrocious crimes'. It should become obvious that the word perpetuate/perpetuating has been used in confusion with perpetrate/perpetrating. The confusion of identity stems partly from inaccurate pronunciation and partly from spelling liability on the part of the reporter. This kind of problem will continue to arise for as long as writers do not take up the challenge of getting thoroughly familiar with the 'tools' of their trade - the words of the language. Crimes and other forms of misdeeds are said to be perpetrated. To perpetuate something, on the other hand, is to cause such a thing to continue.

Let's illustrate their respective usage. First perpetrate: (1) Since the crime was perpetrated long before the law came into force, the offender cannot be successfully prosecuted now. (2) Poverty cannot be an excuse or justification for perpetrating crime. (3) Those who perpetrated the violent crime will be brought to justice speedily. (4) The human rights abuses perpetrated during the military era are still being collated. (5) The surprising thing is that the crime was perpetrated under the noses of the police. (6) Any crime perpetrated henceforth shall receive instant judgement. 7) Those perpetrating the crime will be caught soon. 8) The policeman was promoted for arresting the young men perpetrating the cyber crime.

Now perpetuate: (1) The interesting thing about genes is that they are perpetuated for as long as new generations are brought into being. (2) Folk tales are the chief means through which values are perpetuated in traditional societies. (3) Church doctrines and practices are perpetuated through regular Bible teaching. (4) Chief executives usually seek to perpetuate their influence in office by replacing themselves with their lackeys. (5) Instead of perpetuating them, we should do everything we can to eliminate these pernicious habits. (6) By refusing to punish those misdeeds, we are not only condoning poor work habits, we are actually collaborating to perpetuate them, encouraging people to continue to indulge in them. 7) We will be doing the nation great harm by perpetuating this corrupt system. 8) Regular Bible reading and prayer are a means of perpetuating godly atmosphere in the home.

At any rate, the word perpetrating should replace perpetuating in the context under examination.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Apr 28, 2019
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