Say what?

While translating a news report, I encountered the following wrongly expressed sentence (in bold):

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom when winding up the same bill for the ministry said the distribution of tithe would be simplified to help the homeless.
"The procedure is that the applicant must have a home address, water and electricity bills. Despite not having a home address, we will try to give proper assistance such as money and food."
"The procedure is to manage the aid money and it will not be given arbitrarily without checking," he said.

At a glance you may not detect the error, but try rereading the sentence in bold and see if you can find something off with it. I'll give you a minute or two to figure it out.

Can you see it now? So, what's so wrong about the sentence?

First, let us determine who are the givers of the tithe/ financial aid and who are its receivers. Apparently, the givers are the people from the ministry and the receivers are the homeless. But based on the way the said sentence was phrased, it was as if the people from the ministry are the ones who are not having a home address when in fact we know that clause is meant to represent the homeless.

So how to repair such sentence?

There are several ways in which the above sentence can be re-written to reflect the meaning as intended by the report:

1. Despite not having a home address, the homeless will be given proper assistance such as money and food; or,

2. We will try to give proper assistance such as money and food to the homeless despite them not having a home address.

3. We will try to give proper assistance such as money and food to the homeless even though they do not have a home address.

Thus, as seen above, a sentence can be rephrased in different ways and yet still retains the original meaning.

This proves yet again expressing it right is important and that is what we at Express-it-Write aim to do: express it right, loud and clear.

Note: Other than proofreading & editing services, we also offer paraphrasing service. See an example of our paraphrasing work here.