‘Big grammars’ in themes: Guilty or not?


By Azeezah Olatunde

The use of grandiloquent words as themes for higher institution programmes has become envogue.

Students’ bodies often explore their creativity in the coinage of high sounding words to fit the themes of their events thereby creating a subtle competition as “our theme porsche pass your own”.

This action, however unwittingly debars sound understanding or intent of the theme.

Theme, according to Merriam Webster, is “a subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation, the main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing, a movie, etc.”

In the above definition, it can be deduced that creating a theme aids communication with the targeted audience and the true essence of communication is to understand and to be understood.

However, when high sounding words are used to create a theme, then the goal of communication is not achieved because then you’re flaunting that you have a large vocabulary of grandiloquent words.

Apparently, some higher institutions are guilty of making use of the supposed “big grammars” in creating their themes and this leaves the audience be confounded.

I remember seeing the theme of a recent Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) programme and was perplexed even after checking the dictionary for the meaning.

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While is understandable that some schools do this to keep the audience in suspense, the forceful joining of highly sophisticated words for fashion sake inhibits the clarity of the audience, and in most cases amount to adulteration of language.

It becomes prudent upon us to give priority to our audience by aiming for simplicity in choosing our themes which also engages the audience in the communication process.

It is also imperative that we act like our predecessors.

The theme of the just concluded camp of the MSSN B-Zone reads “The Unification” while that of Lagos State Area Unit was “The Deception” which is not an overly complicated theme, it just aims at simplicity that ensures effective communication with the audience.

In addition, it’s incumbent on us Muslims to make things easy for each other. Therefore, “unsophisticated” and easily pronounced words should be employed while creating a theme.

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Make things easy for people and not difficult.”

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