Resume in order to…

Sample 1: “Following the resignation of Ifedayo Abegunde as Secretary to Ondo State Government, SSG, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has appointed Hon. Temitayo Oluwatuyi ‘Tukana’ as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Akeredolu while confirming the new appointment asked Oluwatuyi to resume immediately.”(Nigerian Newspapers…Opera News Hub, Tuesday 7 July, 2020)

I draw readers’ attention to the verb resume which occurs in the context, “Akeredolu…asked Oluwatuyi to resume immediately.” The writer has obviously confused the verb resume with assume, for the context does make it clear that the reference is to the circumstance of Oluwatuyi commencing work as the new Ondo State SSG. It is important to note the forms of the word in question: The noun form of assume is assumption; of resume is resumption.

The problem of insufficient grasp of the nuances of a word resulting in confusing its identity with that of another with varying degrees of seriousness is endemic in the Nigerian usage terrain. The problem arises because writers don’t care enough to make the words their “own” by thoroughly and consciously internalizing their essential and distinguishing properties.

The word resume under review here is a typical example. The impression the writer gives when he uses the verb resume, as in many instances of the use of that verb or its noun form (resumption) in the Nigerian context, is that Oluwatuyi has been on a break and has come back to work.

Some Nigerians would say, “The newly appointed Minister will resume duty on July 1” when they mean, “The newly appointed Minister will assume duty on July 1”. They would say, “The new Inspector-General of Police will resume duty next week” when they mean, “The new Inspector-General of Police will assume duty next week”. They would say, “The newly admitted students will resume (classes) next week” when they mean, “The newly admitted students will commence classes next week.”

We need to make a distinction between assumption of duty (which is about commencing work for the first time) and resumption of duty (which is about coming back to work after a break). To resume work is to begin to work again after one has stopped working, and to assume duty is to report for an assignment for the first time.

At any rate, the verb assume should replace resume in the context under review.


Sample 2: “He however advised the VP that in other to sue him he must first resign his office and sue him as a normal Nigerian.”(#4 billion allegation: resign first…Opera News Hub, 9 July, 2020)

We consider the word other which occurs in the context: “in other to sue him.” The expression in other to 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.



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