Eric Bloch Shackles English

ERIC Bloch in his weekly column analyses the Zimbabwe casino economy, a subject of interest, if not apprehension, to many readers.

Bloch spoils both the fun and the message in his analysis by writing awful English, decorated by circumlocutions, and tautology.

His article “Economy shackled” (Zimbabwe Independent, February 20 to 25) was more a case of English shackled.

Try this in one sentence: “horrendous inflation” of “atmospheric heights”. Yowe-e, mai-whe!

This reminds me of the only book I threw away at Chigwedere Primary School for progress’ sake: the Student’s Companion.

No pun intended, either. Readers with access to Google may wish to search and use the eponymous in-word, humongous in place of Bloch’s “gargantuan extent” or “overly-great”. Surely Bloch can produce better fare. The Economist comes to mind.

Commenting on cost-push inflationary trends in the Budget, Bloch writes ingloriously about “the volcanic operational cost effect”.

I hasten to defend the diversity of volcanoes or their eruption modes that Bloch presumes to be all air-borne.

Here in Zimbabwe, there are ancient pillow lavas (or valentine mattresses) and other bubbly or effusive volcanoes that, in Bloch’s parlance, would represent benign inflation.

Eric could, of course, thoroughly amuse Zimbabweans (on, say a satirical late night show at the KweKwe Theatre) by enthusing that Acting Minister Chinamasa’s budget “potentially accelerates economic collapse”, hence giving new meaning to “acting”.

Again, Eric has the last word on “these appallingly ill-considered budgetary actions!” I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or sing. 

Bloch’s quaint verbosity gets close to making me do all three at once.

I recommend a good book to Bloch, the award-winning The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

Pafunge by T Tsodzo is another, but then, the latter is written in a sovereign language that defies Google’s challenge of a borderless world.

Mark Tsomondo,
Harare.