Of rent, other, and order

SAMPLE 1: “That same morning reports also rented the internet of his attempted suicide on the Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge and it took the duo of Peter Okoye and Banky W to get him off the suicide act.”(Tiwa Savage and Teebillz: A Matter of Ego, The Nation, May 8, 2016)

We are interested in the form and use of the word rented which occurs in the following context: “reports also rented the internt”.  This word, its appropriate usage and its misapplication have engaged our attention several times in this place before. It would seem that reporters have not benefited sufficiently from such efforts. What is the problem with this word as used in this context? How do we use the word correctly?

In answering these questions we would not shrink from rehashing some of our earlier presentations on the subject.

The verb from which the form rented is supposed to derive is rend, meaning to break through violently, to tear apart, to make a loud, deafening noise. The form rented has been presented by the reporter as the past form rend.

However, there can be no mistake about the fact that the writer’s head is racked by confusion regarding the forms rend, rent and rented. There is the verb rent, meaning to take and use for some time, say an apartment, a facility, a vehicle, etc, for a fee. The forms of that verb are: rent, rents, renting and rented. Usage examples: 1) She rents a car every week for that purpose. 2) He has been renting out his father’s houses for the past five years. 3) The facility was rented for five hundred thousand naira. 4) I have not rented any house since I secured this job; the company has been providing accommodation. 5) The university has been renting facilities from the company.

The noun form of that verb remains rent: 1) She always takes a loan to pay her rent. 2) When is your rent due? 3) Rents have gone up astronomically since the increase in the prices of petroleum products. 4) Is the house for rent? 5)  We pay an annual rent of one million naira.

We need, however, to distinguish the various forms of the verb rent from the various forms of the verb rend. The verb rend has the following forms: rend, rends, rent, rending. As we have noted, this verb means to tear violently apart, break into pieces with violence, to utter loud, deafening noise. Usage examples: 1) Every night, the noise of carousing men rends the air. 2) When the president arrived, shouts of ‘APC’ rent the air. 3) A hefty branch of the huge tree was rent by the storm. 4) Heart-rending stories of death and destruction were told by the hapless returnees. 5) Her loving and innocent heart was rent by a bitter disappointment. 6) It was the tradition of the ancient Hebrews to rend their clothes as a sign of penitence. 7) The rocky hill was rent by an earthquake. 8) It was a terrible crash in which the vehicle was rent into two.

It is important to note that the past tense of rend is not rented but rent; the past participle is not rented but rent.

It is also important to note the difference between rend and render. The following sentences are defective: 1) We are *rending an account before the end of the financial year. 2) She narrated a soul-*rendering story of how her husband and children were brutally murdered. 3) He collapsed while he was *rending a song. 4) That sad development *rendered her heart. 5) Increased technology seems to be *rending many workers redundant.

Those sentences are re-presented as follows with the appropriate word replacing the wrong one in each case: 1a) We are rendering an account before the end of the year. 2a) She narrated a soul-rending story of how her husband and children were brutally murdered. 3a) He collapsed while he was rendering a song. 4a) That sad development rent her heart. 5a) Increased technology seems to be rendering many workers redundant.

At any rate, let the form rent replace rented in the context under review.

Sample 2: “One of the discussants, a popular blogger, Noble Igwe, however maintained that the giant brewery still has a lot to do in the area of awareness so that consumers will restrict themselves to moderate drinking in other to benefit from the nutritional contents of the alcoholic beverage.”(Experts Link Healthy Lifestyle to Beer Consumption, The Nation, July 10, 2016)

The expression that attracts our attention is in other to which occurs in the context, “restrict themselves to moderate drinking in other to benefit from the nutritional contents.” This expression is clearly confused with in order to which is the appropriate one for the context. Again, this issue has engaged our attention repeatedly on this page and it would amount to reinventing the wheel if we do not exercise the freedom to appropriate the fruits of our earlier efforts. That freedom is hereby exercised.

Some Nigerian users of English find it difficult to differentiate in pronunciation between the words order and other, thus carrying the phonological confusion into the idiomatic and syntactic usage.

Now read the following sentences: 1) The Treasury Single Account (TSA) was introduced in order to prevent public officers from exceeding their spending limits. 2) Nigerian languages and cultures are being taught in public schools in order to wean our citizens from unhealthy attachment to foreign languages and culture. 3) Regular parents-teachers meetings are held in order to foster a sustained dialogue between parents and teachers. 4) Politicians hold their meetings at night in order to prevent other people from having access to their information. 5) The pregnant woman was immediately subjected to surgery in order to prevent her from laboring too much. 6) The coach subjected his team to regular rigorous training in order to guarantee a brilliant international outing. 7) A lot of stones and cement were used in order to give the building a strong foundation. 8) He told so many lies in order to present himself as a man of integrity. 9) Many advertisements were placed in newspapers in order to generate goodwill for the organization. 10) Many more hands were employed in order to cope with the volume of production this season requires.

The word order can be used in a variety of other ways that should help highlight the difference between it and the word other. Now read the following sentences: 1) It is the constitutional duty of the police to maintain law and order. 2) People will be attended to in the order in which they arrived. 3) The order of service is contained in the pamphlets distributed to the worshippers. 4) No particular order is followed in the way doctors attended to their patients. 5) The chief executive has given an order which cannot be countermanded. 6) The restriction order in that part of the country has been lifted. 7) Since his assumption of office, the president has been trying to put things in order. 8) The machine is out of order and it will require a huge sum of money to fix it. 9) It may interest you to note that I don’t take orders from just anybody. 10) The company has placed an order for a new generator. 11) The army General ordered his men to leave the city. 12) Students were ordered to stay away from the venue of the meeting.

Next we illustrate the usage of the word other. The word can be used in a number of different senses. Read the following sentences: 1) Apart from excessive cash in circulation, there are other factors responsible for inflation. 2) Apart from Christianity and Islam, there are other important religions in the world. 3) The first gentleman seems to be more responsible than the other two. 4) His father had other children by another wife. 5) There are many other things we need to discuss. 6) The other day he was saying something I didn’t quite understand. 7) I see no reason why the two friends should be quarrelling with each other. 8) There are many other books on the same subject. 9) There are situations other than this in which we can encounter similar challenges. 10) We live on the other side of the street. 11) The other false assumption is that life will go on forever. 12) My uncle’s other properties are in Abuja. 13) Some men discriminate against women. In other words, they feel they are superior to women. 14) Soldiers need to understand that this is a democracy and not military dictatorship. In other words, they should learn to submit themselves to civil authority. 15) Parents have a vital role to play in the moral upbringing of their children. In other words, parents should never leave the spiritual and moral destiny of their children entirely in the hands of teachers.

At any rate, the expression in order to should replace in other to in the context under consideration.