“And so I was face to face with the amiable Mrs. Alakija last week Thursday evening,” (THISDAY, April 13) Cover story: either last Thursday evening or Thursday evening, last week.
THE PUNCH of April 12 was not punchy on three occasions: “NAFDAC arrests importers over (for) fake drugs”
“We also reminiscence with nostalgia your efforts in securing….” (Full-page congratulatory advertisement by Island Club in honour of Senator David Mark, GCON, Senate President) On this occasion: we also reminisce….
“US Senate ready to begin gun control (gun-control) debate”
THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER, of April 13 equally contributed three blunders: “Police defends charges against woman” In brief: Police defend…
“Government College Keffi Old Boys celebrates NNPC GMD” Polity: What a messy head?
“FIFA ranking: Nigeria’s slide sadden Mba” This SportXtra headline illiteracy saddens me.
From THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER we move to THE NATION ON SUNDAY of April 14, beginning from its Editorial: “Two fresh matters last week highlight the dire state of the Nigeria Police.” My comment: dire straits
“…who were recently deployed to (in) Kano….”
“…should never be allowed to be thus imperiled as the Nigeria Police has (have) become today.”
“…the Federal Government must rethink the current centrality of the police which has failed woefully (abysmally).”
“The acceptance of his death is still a hard (bitter) pill for me to swallow…still like a dream.”
Lastly from THE NATION ON SUNDAY under review: “Sources said he relocated abroad after the company ran into trouble (troubled) waters with one of the financial institutions.” And this, in passing: trouble spot. Grammar can really confuse those not grounded in it!
“…especially the lay ones who doesn’t (softly, softly, please) understand the art of governance.”
“Ever since the man was sworn-in at Osogbo, it has been one problem or another.” Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.
“Do not promise portable water to all by the end of 2013.” Spell-check: potable water.
“Very few remain steadfast in their protest against the action while some, who later joined the bandwagon…” Of IBB and critics: climb/jump (not join) on/aboard the bandwagon.
“You may work on one side of the town, your children school on the other and you spend the days tensed up because either of the two sides can erupt in flames.” ‘Either of the two sides’ smacks of illiteracy. Either of the sides, please.
“If you as much as bumped into as Osun legislator on (in) the corridor…”
“The Senate will be seen to be practicing (practising) double standards (standard) if it does not heed the motion for.…”
“…they destroyed four government vans, while a private car packed (parked) was almost set ablaze after smashing its windscreen.”
“…they now resort into (to) more desperate inactivity.”
“…shouldn’t the National Assembly summon the will and revert back to the bottom-top electoral time table...” How does ‘revert back’ sound, dear reader? Just delete ‘back,’ which is implied.
“…on the erroneous ground (grounds) that all of them are rich.”
“Ebonyi orders varsity’s immediate re-opening” Some scholarship: reopening.
“…the Hausa and Yoruba residents of Idi-Araba on Lagos Mainland went for each others (sic) throats…” Justice in service of community: each other’s throat (two persons) and one another’s throat (more than two persons).
“The disturbances, as is (are) are now well-known (sic) started from a non-issue.”
“Hoodlums have taken all advantage and news of exceeding violent armed robberies are (is) making the rounds.”
“While congratulating Mr. President for (on/upon) his gallant fight to reverse the negative perception arising from the goofs and gaffes of his sad encounter with victims of Boko Haram….”
“But as soon as the Igbo governors demanded for confederation…” Gently delete ‘for’ in the interest of lexical sanity.
“Recently, one of the concubines in the Presidency…has (had) blown open one of the presidential bedroom gossips that Ndigbo know next to nothing other than buying and selling.” Get it right: ‘gossip’ in this context is uncountable.
“The reunited Ijaw Youths Council has declared April 28 as a day all Ijaw youths would be ready to lay down their lives in a bid to battle the oil companies operating in (on) Bonny Island.”
“Times like this call for fresh ideas and bold initiatives that would put a final stop to this one dark spot of our national life.” The war in Owo: A time like this or times like these.
“Delta to escalate food production” Haba! The state cannot worsen the food situation. Why not simply ‘increase’ or ‘expand?
“Any of the elected representative (representatives) who performs well will stand a better chance of being re-elected in the forthcoming elections.”
“Minister accused over Akwa Ibom LG crisis” Politics Today: accuse somebody of (not over) something.
“Is (are) the Presidency and the National Assembly going back to the trenches?”
“However, my major grouse is with (about) Nigerians and their arm-chair castigation and destructive criticism.”
“Man, 24, charged for killing elder brother” I charge the offender with (not for) lexical murder!
“In this chanced (chance) meeting in Ilorin....”
“As we mourn our fallen brethrens…” Do we need a morphological commission of inquiry into etymological abuse? ‘Brethren’ (plural) is non-count.
“…ensure that destruction of life and properties are (is) minimized during such natural disasters.”
“Ado Bayero blames FG over insecurity” The man blamed FG for (not over) insecurity”
“Now the truth is that they are always in a shock when things like this happen.” This way: things like these or a thing like this.
“He acts only when he is humiliated, otherwise how can one explain the release of N5 billion for police welfare only after the junior ranks of the police have (had) humiliated him?”
“At the moment Zimbabwe is at (in) the throes of war.”
“Savannah Bank was a crisis waiting for an opportuned (opportune) moment to happen….”
“The suspect…had in his surrender statement pointed accusing fingers at people in positions of authority.” The travails of a citizen: point the finger (no ‘accusation’ repetitiveness).
“It’s (its) people need to take very good care of it.”
“As a younger brother to the reknown (renowned) musician.…”
“Here are some of the photographs taken at (on) the occasion.”
“Stephen Keshi stabbed me on the back, says Yobo” Get it right: stab in (not on) the back.
“…for it is not Jonathan that has disappointed the nation per say (se)….”
“…the fact remains that he towed (toed) the party’s line”
“…he spoke volume (volumes) on the political developments.”
“...people who have began (begun) to doubt whether service to the nation is worth the while.”
“...men who were sitting along (on) pavements, under (in) the scorching sun.…”
“No nation that neglects its heroes of yesteryears is worthy of expecting faith and commitment from any citizen today.” Get it right: yesteryear (uncountable).
“Mugabe’s party were (was) lodged in an (a) hotel which was bugged by the British Secret Service.”
“...it is high time such illegalities are (were) checked in the interest of democracy.”
“...the genesis of the crisis in the state and what makes his regime thick (tick).”
“Govt begins clamp down on airport touts” Noun: clampdown; phrasal verb: clamp down.
“These are the type (types) of people who have at one time or the other (one time or another) brazenly attempted to run this country.”
“He opened up on his unceremonious exit from the esteem (esteemed) office amongst (among) other explosive issues in this revealing interview.”
“Africans must pull themselves up and put their acts (act) together for posterity to be assured.” Fixed expression: get your act (not acts) together.
“America can assist in many ways to restore peace to the continent by using her power to cut-off (cut off) the arms supplies, so that resources could be diverted to development.”