When building a house it becomes necessary to put the right blocks in the right place otherwise, the house will not align with the layout or design in the original plan. The foundation is the most important part of a building because it carries the weight of the whole building. That is how it is when it comes to our everyday use of grammar.
There are words that look simple, yet they are problematic. If we don’t have a proper understanding of these words, it might affect our writing and the information we intend to pass across to our readers.
Standard text on the use of English are in two-denominations: the first one is that most books on English language present formal ideas of how the language should be written, that’s not bad but it is the grammar of the language which most times we find hard to conform to because of the various ‘shifting lattices’ of the usage. Secondly and more importantly, because of their continuous insistence on the grammar, some books usually fail to capture and describe how people use the language. In this perspective, we have decided for the next few weeks to point the way to linguistically correct and socially acceptable form of the language. So, please stay with us:
(1) EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT
If somebody works without wasting time or energy, and in a well-organized way, we say that he is efficient. For instance, a good secretary is efficient; an inefficient secretary puts paper in the wrong place, forgets things or takes too long to do small jobs. A machine or a system that works well is also described as efficient. Let us consider these examples:
- She has sorted out all my letters and filed them alphabetically; I think this new secretary is efficient.
- The Nigerian Telephone System is becoming efficient.
When we say that something is effective, we mean that it solves a particular problem that we have, or gets the result we want:
- My aunt only gets weaker by the day; those drugs are not effective at all.
- I think a black belt would look very effective with that dress.
We hope we have shed some light on the difference between “efficient” and “effective”. This is the first building block that we want you to lay.
Please share this with friends so they also can put it in use.