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01.12.2019 Opinion

Language Agenda: Error of Concord By Bank of Ghana

By Dr. Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo
Dr. Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq AzindooDr. Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo

"The INTRODUCTION of the higher value denominations in circulation ARE therefore necessary to ensure customer convenience, reduction in the cost of printing, and other currency management processes", says the Bank of Ghana as quoted in a report filed by a leading Ghanaian daily newspaper.

This statement, which is in relation to the introduction of new Ghana Cedi notes and coins, may be pleasant to the world of Commerce and Industry. But to the fraternity of Grammarians and friends of Language Accuracy, it is a sad reflection of the ERROR OF CONCORD.

In simple language, Error of Concord is a mismatch in number between a subject and a verb. In the sentence under review, the subject is "introduction", which is singular. However, it is forced to agree with the verb "are", which is plural. Obviously, there arises an ERROR OF CONCORD.

The anomalous sentence could be corrected as follows:

● The INTRODUCTION of the higher value denominations in circulation IS therefore necessary to ensure customer convenience...

In this sentence, the singular subject "introduction" agrees with the singular verb "is", and the Rule of Concord is respected.

Source of Error
This error might have been influenced by the plural noun "denominations", which is relatively close to the verb "are." It is instructive to state that the noun "denominations" has no "concordial" effect. It is just one of the words constituting a modifier of "introduction." Together with other words, it only enhances the quality of the meaning of "introduction."

The modifier involved starts from the preposition "of" and ends with the noun "circulation." Dear reader, NOTE that if the modifier is removed, the sentence is still meaningful. But if it is added, the sentence becomes more meaningful. Let us consider the structure without the modifier:

● The INTRODUCTION IS therefore necessary to ensure customer convenience...

Although this is a complete sentence, it is not explanatory enough. That is why the modifier becomes relevant. Now let us restate the structure with the modifier:

● The introduction OF THE HIGHER VALUE DENOMINATIONS IN CIRCULATION is therefore necessary to ensure customer convenience...

In this structure, it is clear that the modifier - in upper case - adds more meaning to the subject "introduction."

Conclusively, dear reader, the best way to avoid ERROR OF CONCORD is extra care in the application of language. Certainly, it is an error that defies the expertise of many linguists.

Allah is the Best Linguist.
By Dr. Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq azindoo
Lecturer, University of Applied Management, Ghana

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