Entrepreneur and Instagram celebrity, Ismail Mustapha, popularly called Mompha, currently deserves to enjoy all the peace and privacy he desires. A few days ago, he announced that he would go offline, easing himself from the hustle and bustle of the Internet/social media. According to him, his doctor advised him to do so – and many observers are likely to agree that there is wisdom in the step he took.
As he savours his privacy, however, I want to borrow a clause from the statement in which he announced what can be called the online vacation. It will help us revisit a common expression that is usually tricky to handle. Here is the quote:
“Through this medium (that is online medium), I have made friends with people from all works of life, who in one way or another have contributed immensely to my development as an individual, husband, father, brother and friend.”
What is your reaction to the use of ‘works’ in the sentence? You can take another look at it. Put differently, that popular idiom, is it ‘all works of life’ or ‘all walks of life’? Or is it all work of life or all walk of life?
According to Cambridge Dictionary, ‘walk of life’ means various levels of social position or achievement.
Longman, on its part makes it clear that the statement can be used in the singular or plural sense. It defines it as the position in society someone has, especially the type of job they have. So, it can be ‘from every work of life’ or ‘’from all walks of life’:
Our volunteers include people from all walks of life.
So, as we have repeatedly stressed in this class, the expression is every walk of life or all walks of life – not every work of life or all works of life. Of course, we have ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ and ‘put a spanner in the works’.
Both are correct expressions, with the latter being the correct or standard form of ‘put a clog in wheel of progress’. But in the case of ‘all walks of life’ and ‘all works of life’, the first is the right thing to say.
People from all works of life attended the forum. (Wrong)
People from all walks of life attended the forum. (Wrong)
Born or borne?
The way you should be able to make the right choice between ‘walks’ and ‘works’, you should also be able to differentiate between the meanings and uses of ‘born’ and ‘borne’. Both also often get mixed up:
Most people who were … in February celebrate the Valentine’s Day in a special way. (born/borne)
Are you sure the expenses were … by her? (/born/borne/bore)
The answers are ‘borne’ and ‘born’ respectively.
Birth or berth?
The reality show train will … in Awka tomorrow. (bath/berth/birth)
He was very big at … (berth/birth)
Answers: berth, bath.
Precedent or precedence?
The director said overlooking the man’s absence from work would amount to setting a bad … (precedence/precedent)
Although the queue was long, the cashier gave … to the old woman. (precedence/precedent)
Answers: precedent, precedence.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]