Mind Your Language

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By Kelechi Imo


I want to agree that virtually all of us have heard or even used the phrase “mind your language” some would prefer to use “watch your tongue” whichever you choose, it all means the same. It is common amongst us all and most times it is used when we feel provoked to anger. Some use it as a wise council while some use it for serious caution i.e is when provoked. I will explain with the story of Obinna.


Some years back in the classroom, a certain Professor who also was at a time, the deputy vice chancellor of obinna’s Ivory Tower, came into class and was teaching a particular course. All students were focused and assiduously listening to the professor. Of course, he is a Professor and a DVC, so there should be a level of respect and attention but somehow Obinna was carried away by a classmate of his a, beautiful, scintillating young maiden who sat close to him. He probably lost concentration. Unfortunately for him, the Professor pointed at him Obinna to stand up and answer a question. Obinna would I say in his unusually playful and careless manner gave his reply “Prof Sir, in fact, I don’t know what you are talking about” Prof was mad!!! He felt insulted. He imagined the boldness and the courage came from. The Prof got really angry and made him a promise that he would not make his papers that year. Well, Obinna cried and pleaded and even sent some of his course mates to go beg the Professor but all was to no avail. Obinna wondered what he would do. Unfortunately, the Professor failed him in exams and he had his first carryover. Too bad for him.


Sometimes, we may just have good intents but the manner of which we presented it could land us in serious troubles. We all live in a clime where often times when the young and vibrant wants to get things from our elders, we are either termed arrogant, proud or silly sometimes they also tag it ignorance. Since we are well aware of these, it then becomes imperative to mind the type of words we use in addressing our superiors so they don’t get provoked. If you like massage their ego but don’t be carried away by the romance. The truth is that most of us are fed up with the bad legacies of the generation before us and we really want to change it but then, that doesn’t mean that we should at all times speak in such a derogatory manner all the time to them. Remember, even the bible says, wisdom is profitable to direct. Just imagine if Obinna had said this to the Professor “Please sir, I wasn’t really following” Obinna would have gotten a lesser punishment. Or the Professor would have laughed over it and maybe said “I knew you weren’t following, that was why I told you to stand”. The presentation of our cases matters a lot in our dearly lives. You could make your points known and sound without necessarily using derogatory words. Words can travel a lot into someone soul that if the wrong one is sold, it could take decades to heal. I speak to you not from the angle of perfection but from the angle of experience.


I do hope and pray that we all especially young folks would understand that the old people we lash at today were once upon a time, young, vibrant chap’s. They have played their part and made great mistakes. It is our duty to learn the lessons and try not to repeat same. A wise saying has it that ” you do not solve a problem by being in the same thinking level when it was created”. I believe we have the ability, training and patients to use the write words especially to those who have seen it all in other not to look justifiably offensive. I believe we would get all we want by hard work, smart work, good planning, great skill and commitment to the good course.


Remember that until the mystery of how the water got into the coconut is answered, Please Mind Your Language.



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