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I have recently got an alert text message on my phone from my local authorities in Vietnam:

(a) Typhoon number 16 (Tembin) can affect Ho Chi Minh city, people should follow to have prevention.

Although I'm not a native speaker, it kind of sounds weird to me. The above bold words are the ones which I am going to make changes as follow:

(b) Typhoon number 16 (Tembin) can affect Ho Chi Minh city, everyone should check media to ensure safety.

Do you think sentence (a) sounds natural?
If not, does my sentence (b) sounds fine so that I can make suggestion to the authority?

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    In American English, the city is "Saigon".
    – Jasper
    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:07
  • 1
    Was "city" capitalized in the text message?
    – Jasper
    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:08
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    In American English, tropical storms are referred to by their names. The numbers are redundant, and thus not stated. For example, the 22nd storm of 2017 (as counted by the Philippines) is named Vinta. Apparently Japan has different standards for naming tropical storms, and assigns different names (such as Tembin).
    – Jasper
    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:36
  • @Jasper: I only added (a) and (Tembin) to the original sentence to make it clear. The word 'city' is not capitalized there. And for Vietnamese people, Saigon is a common and short way to call Ho Chi Minh City.
    – doquan0
    Dec 26, 2017 at 13:51
  • Yes, it is also called "Saigon", but that's its old name. I wrote a paper on this city last spring. I recall the fall of Saigon and its being renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
    – Nick
    Dec 28, 2017 at 5:20

1 Answer 1

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B sounds better to me. To me, sentence A is just one of those quick messages that tell the reader something haphazardly rather than being firm, direct, and completely fluent. I still think both are not grammatical, however, because both use a comma where a semicolon should be. This is called a comma splice and it is considered ungrammatical; however, it is very, very, very common, even in newspaper articles and other media print. It should read:

"Typhoon number 16 (Tembin) can affect Ho Chi Minh City; everyone should check some form of media to ensure safety."

I also think "City" should be capitalized in Ho Chi Minh City. I've added "some form of" in front of "media" because it sounds better, but I'm not so sure it's necessary for an emergency message like this one; however, most people, when speaking, would not say "check media"; they would say something like "check the media" or "check (possessive adjective) media", etc.

"Everyone should check his media to ensure safety."

"People should check their media to ensure safety."

"Everyone should check the media to ensure safety."

I hope this might have helped you out. Take care and good luck.

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