Augean Stables

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MEDIAGAFFES
with Ebere Wabara
ewabara@yahoo.com, 08055001948


CHARITY  begins at home this week as this medium offered readers this solecism on March 12: “Back then, I hawked pure (satchet or packaged) waterat the airport.”

Next is DAILY SUN of March 24: “Eze Ndigbo title not affront on (to) traditional authorities”
“The kids and I wishes (why?) you a special birthday today….”
“14th year in His bossom” Spellcheck; bosom
“Buhari is cleaning Nigeria’s Augean stable (stables)”

Let us welcome TheNEWS to this column for the first time. Its edition of March 28 circulated this gaffe: “A week to the end of his stay in the House and office, the reputation of the House and that of himself look (looks) wretched.”
“Osun Deputy Governor, SSG, others pay last respect as…goes home” (THE NATION SOCIETY, April 4) May his soul rest in peace (not perfect peace, by the way, as emotional people write): pay last respects.
“Testimony galore at RCCG Holy Ghost Service for May” (Sunday Mirror, May 22) Praise & Worship: Testimonies galore….
“Ameobi lays siege for Baggies” (THE NATION SPORT, April 4) Sportsmanship: lay siege to (not for), if at all this lexical structure has to be used!
“WAFU Cup Finals: Adedeji exonerates Siasia over Eagles’ loss” (Saturday Mirror Sport, March 5) Siasia was exonerated from (not over) Eagles’ loss.
“Why Tantalizers is re-opening Abibu-Oki outlet” (Saturday Mirror, March 12) Yet another phrasal verb catachresis.

“It hasn’t been too good (sic) in the last four years and it’s something that borders (bothers) me.” (Nigerian Compass Politics, May 18)
“The euphoria among workers over this year’s May Day find (finds) expression in the fact that they can now take their destiny in their own hands.”
“It was an unenviable task given the palpable hostility that rented (rent) the air.”
“ACN senator-elect advises colleagues to brace-up for the next republic” Politics Today: Still on phrasal verb brouhaha (brace up). It is not a syllabic entry.
“The lack of adequate knowledge of the areas have (had) often made past exercises to be.…”

“…execute programmes and policies which they promised the electorates (electorate) before being voted for.”
“The redeployment of the sports administrator comes in (on) the heels of sweeping changes presently (sic) going on in the federal civil service.” Yank off   ‘presently’ in the interest of purity and word economy!
“…we are assuming that among the privileged specie (species) of homo sapiens….”
“A major platform under (on) which banking regulation has been carried out in Nigeria over the years has been through the use of statutory regulation.”
“…I thought I heard the preacher talked (talk) about the message of Jesus being rather simple….”

“But, of course, the country is still indebted to the tune of a whooping $29 billion to the same IMF with service arrears mounting by $1 billion annually.” Spell-check: whopping.
“Without my vote it could have been minus one vote for either of the two candidates.”  It couldn’t have been ‘either of four candidates’! Delete ‘two’ in the interest of purity.
“…that we are indeed free at last to breathe easy and live without the fears of yesteryears.”  The last word in the excerpt cannot be pluralized.
“Lack of other skills force (forces) men and women into occupations that carry more risk than others.”
“The other week, illegal fuel hawkers at Ojuelegba, in the Lagos metropolis, fell out with some of their co-dealers and fourth themselves.”  The miscreants fought one another (not themselves).
“Areas like…have had one skirmish or the other (another) since last week Thursday. “Either last Thursday or Thursday, last week.
“Ikedi Ohakim looked dazed and traumatized even as he beamed smiles to the crowd.”  The man could not have beamed a frown!  We should not ignorantly circumscribe meaning of words through redundancies.

“It is regrettable that the police has (have) virtually turned Mushin and parts of Isolo into a police state, subjecting such areas into (to) a nightmarish reign of terror and anarchy.”
“…the new chairmen and councillors would usher in improved grassroot development schemes for the welfare of the people.”  Always: grassroots.
“During his investiture ceremony held at the college campus.…”  Always on (not at) the campus.
“The truth of the matter is that both the Liberian and Sierra Leonean crisis cost Nigeria a fortune.” Singular: crisis; plural: crises.
“Also, the country’s educational and health institutions are in total shambles.”  This way: in a total shambles.
“Building and construction firms have began (begun) to submit bids for….”
“…Nigeria was observing a mandatory requirement for the conferment of validity to (on) its 2011 elections.”

“Your life is an examplary one…” This way: exemplary.
“He who pays the piper dictates the tune.”  He who pays the piper calls the tune.
“In spite of distance and regional location, the two countries at one time has (had) so much in common.”
“Murder: Lack of funds stall (stalls) prosecution” I appreciate the source of confusion.  It is a recurring shibboleth.
“…many Nigerians are dead, millions are today walking corpses, while unemployment, hunger and destitution is (are) rife in the land.”

“Personal sacrifices and discipline are the only ammunitions civilians have for rescuing the nation from.…” This way: ammunition

“One had thought that after the allegation levied (levelled) against Lionel Messi.…”
“The UNIBEN Alumni Association has congratulated two of its members for (on) their achievements in politics.”