‘Loot’ Uncountable


with Ebere Wabara

DAILY Sun Front Page Headline of March 28 welcomes us today: “Recovered loots (loot): Why we can’t disclose amount—Buhari” ‘Loot’ is uncountable.
“Taraba: Army arrests 6 over (for) Ibi communal crisis”
$4m first automation engineering lab in Nigeria ready for commissioning (inauguration)”

Wrong: media practitioner Right: media professional
“Turkish Airlines to increase flights (flight) routes in Nigeria”
The next four blunders are from an advertorial by Ebonyi State University signed by Sam N. Egwu, Registrar/Secretary to Council, which was published in the above edition of Daily Sun: “Mama left sound legacies by bequeathing to her children, (otiose comma) sound morals and acdemic trainings (training), which today, (another useless comma) has (have) strategically….”
“As you mourn this rare icon, be consoled by the fact that she has gone to rest on (in) the bosom of the Most High God….” (Source: as above)
“Since the inception of the present political dispensation, appointment of the Clerk of the national Assembly has been shrouded by (in) intrigues….”
Now the last entry from Daily Sun under review: “Uganda (Ugandan) goalkeeper Dhaira dies from (of) cancer”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY of March 27 comes in with just three gaffes: “Mixed reaction greets sackings” This is no news: mixed reactions greet sackings
“DIG commends army, police over (for/on) Yobe attacks”
Lastly from Fatai Atere Way: “Onitsha is better now, say Obiano” What is going on here?

Let us continue with a visit to Champion House, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos: “Soldiers take over troubled spots” (Daily Champion, March 28) Let peace reign: trouble spots.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, expressed sadness over the sporadic violent protest (protests)….” (Vanguard, March 28)
“Police arrest four over Maiduguri explosion” Do we arrest the entire editorial team for (not over) lexical recklessness?
“Bribery enthrones mediocrity and crucify merit.” (Source: as above) The Tabernacle of bribery crucifies merit.
“Gang up against Buhari will fail” (NIGERIAN Tribune, March 28) Phrasal verb: gang up; noun: gang-up (which applies here)
“We were treated to another similar incidence.…” All newspapers should know the difference between ‘incidence’ and ‘incident’ (which applies here).
“Although the governor’s last minute romance with the main opposition party is held against him.…” Saturday People: last-minute romance
“Thus, a core investor…with regards to optimal use of the machinery.…” (THE GUARDIAN, March 28) Either: as regards or with regard to….
“In the heydays of the goggled General when fuel was often unavailable…” (Source: as above) Stranglehold of oil workers: heyday (uncountable)
“Last year, many houses of the Igbo in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos, were razed down.…” (THISDAY, March 28) No word abuse: simply razed (not razed down). Discard the contrary views by some registers!

Yet another headline gaffe: “Restrictions on inter-bank foreign exchange trading is (are) killing the market.”
“Armed robbers now have good company–street thugs and unofficial vigilante groups.” (Still from THE GUARDIAN) Democracy as a disincentive: vigilance group
“Buhari points accusing fingers at….” (DAILY SUN, March 28) People in the news: Buhari points the finger. No obtuse addition
“Nigeria is at a crossroad” (VANGUARD, March 28) Fixed expression: at a/the crossroads
“Stationeries badly needed by.…” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, March 28) ‘Stationery’ is non-count.
“But what appears criminal is the desire of these off-springs of.…” (DAILY CHAMPION, March 28) ‘Offspring’ does not take any inflection.
The next three goofs are from VANGUARD of March 28: ”…the process of economic integration from which will emerge an economic block (bloc).…”
“There is a tussle going on between these two (would it have been three?) arms of government.”
“Nigerian leaders and politicians have continued to adopt and acquiesce to (in).…”
“Globacom sets (set) to rule domestic market” (Nigerian Tribune, March 28)
“I have been briefed that the wrangling among the leaders of PDP are (is) over.” (SUNDAY VANGUARD, March 27)
BusinessDay of March 28 disseminated a recurring impropriety: “Now that the Police has (have) taken over the supervision of the….”
“…and ensure it does not reoccur again.” (THE GUARDIAN, March 28) ‘Reoccur again’? Run for cover, my dear reader! Just recur. Recur, recurrence, recurrent. Occur, occurred, occurrence.
“Lack of incentives anger (angers) local manufacturers” (THE GUARDIAN, March 28)
“They provide temporary relief.” (Source: as above) ‘Temporary relief? I strongly object to that clumsy expression because there is no permanence in ‘relief’.
“The patients pay for each act of ‘healing’ through their noses.” Get it right: they pay through the nose or excessively.
“At the launching programme (launch) in Abuja.…”
“A cursory look at the figures show (shows) that.…”
Daily Sun of March 25 circulated copious shibboleths: “The end point is that people wait for between three to five hours to pay in their drafts.” English without tears: between three and five
“With the attainment of the highest office at any strata of government….” Singular: stratum; plural: strata.
“It may be difficult for Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu to resurrect again politically after his disastrous outing in the presidential elections.” Please, yank off ‘again’ in the interest of lexical sanity and our democracy.
“They better not rely on INEC.” This way: They had better not rely on INEC.
“Like (As) we had said at various forums. …”
“So, the government cannot ask the Supreme Court to interprete the law.” Spell-check: interpret.
“…the reduction in the number of road accidents and causalities.” (National Mirror, March 28) This way: casualties.
“…to that extent, we shall congratulate its authors for (on/upon) hearing the deafening cry of Nigerians for an effective legislature.” (Nigerian Tribune, March 28)
“…were simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.” (DAILY CHAMPION, March 28) ‘Fallout’ is uncountable.
“…appeal to the discredited tactics of past times also wreak havoc on the procedural sanctity of the democratic path.” (Vanguard, March 28) Notes of disquiet: pastime
“Out-of-control trailer crushes 15 persons to death” When a trailer crushes people, they cannot be alive except there is divine intervention. So, ‘crushed to death’, to me, smacks of lexical insensitivity. This is my own perception of ‘crush’, especially in vehicular circumstances. You are at liberty to accept or not. After all, some dictionaries question my poetic licence on this!