Rearing not raring
Stabroek News
April 14, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Your paper employed the word, "raring", inappropriately, on two occasions, recently. On the first occasion, it was in a headline, which reads: "Guyana raring to go". A few days later, there was a caption in relation to one of the visiting Indian cricketers, which read, in part, "Raring to go..." In both instances, it ought to have read: "Rearing...", the form that suggests: "Rising up on the hind legs".

There was also a letter in your issue of March 23: "Guywa release was inaccurate". That letter said, in parts, "...all the windows have to be closed, thus enhancing the already dark building". The work "enhancing", as employed there, however, is somewhat inappropriate. One could say, literally, that the darkness was enhanced, i.e., "made darker". However, as constructed there, this is not what is conveyed.

I suggest that it might have been better if put as: "...thus intensifying (or even 'enhancing') the state of darkness already promoted by the building's design", or something like that. One needs be very precise about language, if one is to faithfully discharge that inherent mandate of informing and instructing those who look to one for example.

Yours faithfully,

Walter A. Jordan

Editor's note

The Chambers dictionary which we use states "Raring - adjective, eager (for), full of enthusiasm and sense of urgency especially in phrase 'raring to go'". However, like Mr. Jordan many of us in the older generation are more familiar with the other 'English' spelling.