By Ebere Wabara
DAILY SUN of May 16 welcomes us today with a few solecisms: “Our business no longer boom” One of these: business no longer booms or businesses no longer boom
“FG urged to boost agriculture with new innovation” Is there old innovation?
“We are however, (sic) comforted by the fact that the reign of our great Oba on the ancient throne of his forefathers was characterized with (by) peace, unity….” (Full-page condolence, DAILY SUN, May 9)
The next blunder is from a full-page advertorial by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) published in the above edition of DAILY SUN: “The Hon. Minister of Information & Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed and the management of the National Broadcasting Commission invites (invite) all stakeholders in the broadcasting industry including station owners, media practitioners (professionals), content providers and the general (sic) public to participate in the DIGITAL BROADCASTING Africa Forum 2016.” Hackneyed expression: general public—instead of just the public!
National Mirror Politics of May 12 takes over from DAILY SUN: “…Osaro said the state cannot (could not) afford to slide back to the dark days.”
“One year after, Dankwambo swears-in (swears in) 12 Commissioners (commissioners)”
From National Mirror Editorial comes this: “Few (A few) years ago….”
“Bursary: NANS gives Niger governor 7 days (days’) ultimatum”
“UCJ UNILORIN inducts new members” Would it have been old members? Let us think before collocation.
The back page of NATIONAL MIRROR under review contained two improprieties: “For the past 10 years, even long before the exigencies of the suffering of the North East drew her closer home, she has (had) been immersed in charity work.”
“For making a great difference in spite of the odds, you cannot but doff your hat for….” Get it right: take off your hat to (not for)
“Corps member donate (why?) equipment to FUPRE health centre”
“The presiding judge…while fixing the date also warned counsels (counsel) to both parties that he would not entertain any form of delay.”
“The Senegal summit was an important landmark enroute (sic) the fourth world women conference in Beijing, China.” Two things are wrong in the preceding sentence: do we have an unimportant landmark? Standard register: ‘en route to or for’ and ‘en route from’, as context demands. ‘En route’ is a French phrase, which means ‘on the way’.
“Picturesque Tinubu Square, the business hub of the city will be revived back to its glory.” Why do we like being severe on words? ‘Revive’ cannot accommodate ‘back’.
“We therefore advice smokers to exercise caution when they dispose of cigarette stubs. “ This does not require any reproach as Americans have bastardised it. Noun: advice; verb: advise (preferred British variant).
“The perspective is neither alarmist or fantastic.” It seems some writers do not care about grammatical inappropriateness. This way: ‘neither…nor’ (‘either…or’).
“The individual common man has little access to the press, so the injustices the common man suffers atimes do not merit media attention.” (SUNDAY VANGUARD, May 15) ‘Atimes’ is Nigerian English. Standard expression: ‘at times’
“He had defiled all odds at the end of the Nigerian Civil War….” I only hope that this newspaper would not be sued one of these days because of lexical laziness on the part of a few of my colleagues. How can a man defile (obviously defy) odds?
“These kind of write-ups drive journalism into irrelevance.” Correct form: This kind of…or these kinds of
“Since such may not come into reality.” Right expression: Since such may not come to reality.
“The budget planned originally to be a surplus usually result into a huge deficit.” Approved form: result in.
“Formulation of past budgets have (has) more often been hailed but their implementation….”
“…with a view to meeting (meting) out appropriate sanctions on all those found to have been involved in any way.” The (formal) phrasal verb is ‘mete out to’ (not ‘on’) and its gerund takes single ‘t’.
“Israel moves to diffuse tension with Egypt” Who is the sub-editor diffusing illiteracy? Let us always distinguish between ‘diffuse’ and ‘defuse’, which applies here.
“At a stage, the total of 23 presidential aspirants that sought for power under the platform of the two parties….” I seek grammatical power on the platform of quintessential scholarship.
“All through our long years under colonialism, the cost of books and other materials were never beyond the reach.…” ‘Cost’ is what should inform the verb used here; not ‘books and other materials’.
“Among items destroyed were textile materials, jewelleries, television and radio sets….” ‘Jewellery’: plural unchanged.
“Nigerians pay last respect to…” ‘Last respects’, please
“This truth no doubt was expressed in recognition of the role of the press in any society, especially one striving towards the attainment of democracy.” ‘Strive’ take ‘for’, ‘after’, ‘against’ and ‘with’; not ‘towards’.
“And as the UN is packing its bags and baggage out of….” Standard entry: ‘bag and baggage’
“….the whole nation hailed and applauded both parties in the protracted crisis for reaching an agreeable truce.” Gentlemen of the press, what is the meaning of ‘agreeable truce?’ Pupils used to make newspapers reference materials for English language studies. I doubt if that happens these days, with bovine oddities like ‘agreeable truce’.
“Cake is fattening thereby loosing its attraction to….” Correct spelling cannot lose attraction.
“I and the other Nigerians who had come to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia…” Grammatical discipline demands that you put self last: ‘The other Nigerians and I….’
“Kogi workers asked to sign attendant register” What a Babel! ‘Attendance register’, please
“…and the partitioning of the country by the clan chiefs and warlords continue.” The partitioning (not the chiefs and warlords) continues.’