Bayanda Mzoneli

About Bayanda Mzoneli

Bayanda Mzoneli is a public servant. He writes in his personal capacity.

A friend on facebook has brought it to my attention that while there are many readers of this blog, she has learned of 2 reasons why some of the people would rather not comment or are discouraged from reading some of the posts.

The first reason is that I am alleged to be rude. Obviously being rude is a subjective factor of the offended.  Some of the time there could be truth in that but some of the time it could be the difference of belief systems, culture or background that leads to diverse interpretation of what is written here.

I had regarded it as inevitable that, at some, point someone may or may not be offended by what I may or may not write on this blog and my other social networking accounts including twitter and facebook. Hence I decided to compile a Terms of Use and Disclaimer which can be accessed here.

Having said that, I wish to express my unconditional apology to all those who may have been hurt by any remark I may have made across social network channels, viz. my blob, facebook and twitter. I further wish to apologise for any future offences. It is not in my conduct to wish to insult, offend, belittle or ridicule anyone. While I may poke fun, only at close friends, such is not meant to potray them as stupid but is an attempt at humour which is not always succesful.

The second reason that was brought to my attention, especially about this blog, is that some of the words I use are difficult. I am not surprised by that as I also often come across words I may not be familiar with. I try very hard to use a simple language, especially after I learned that there are also high school learners who read my blog. The English Language is not my home language, so I may not always be successful in choosing the easiest word to express myself.

I have 2 solutions to attempt to address this problem.

The first one is that as from today, readers of this blog (online, not print) will be able to get the definition when reading from a computer (not mobile phone). To get a definition of the word, you have to highlight the word. Once highlighted, a small bubble with a question mark will appear. When you click on the bubble a collection of the definitions of the word would appear in a pop-up window. I understand this to be the easiest solution to solve the problem of readability or comprehension of this blog.

The second solution to the problem of difficult words does not relate specifically to this blog. It is my friendly advice to the readers on how do I solve the problem of words I see for the first time, especially as not many of us have a dictionary within reach when reading online.

I downloaded a dictionary called WordWeb. It is about 18MB in size and can be downloaded for free on WordWeb website. Once installed, you just highlight the word and then Press Ctrl+Alt+W to see the definition. This can be done from any application be it Internet Explorer (Firefox, Chrome), Microsoft Word or even Adobe Reader.

The beauty of it is that WordWeb also works offline, so you can use even when not connected to the internet. I sometimes use it to find synonyms for words when I am writing to try and find the best word to express myself. The added advantage to it is that it also properly features South African English. Microsoft Word (MS Word) is difficult to configure for South African English, but even when configured it does not recognise some of the words. It would underline ‘recognise’ in red because it recognises the word with the ‘z’ instead of ‘s’. MS Word also doesn’t like ‘habour’, ‘colour’ and similar words because it does not recognise those words with the ‘u’. WordWeb recognises these words properly and many others. I sometimes wish there was WordWeb for newspapers when I come across difficult words in the newspaper or magazine.

I hope those that may have been offended find it in their kind hearts to forgive me for both what I have done and what I may or may not do in future. I also hope the readers who were beginning to be alienated by the difficult words would stay and further invite others to read this blog.

My sincere thanks goes to the Facebook friend who alerted me to these issues.

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