Misrepresenting Ambode

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MEDIA GAFFES

with Ebere Wabara
ewabara@yahoo.com, 08055001948


THE GUARDIAN Front Page Bold Headline of June 5 welcomes us today: “At last, FG releases details of recovered loots” The last entry is non-count.
“Ali, the Greatest (another comma) takes a bow” (Source: as above)
Next is DAILY SUN of May 17: “Oil producing (Oil-producing) status will make Lagos deliver more dividends of democracy—Ambode”
Still from DAILY Sun: “One year anniversary: Ambode commissions (inaugurates/auspicates et al) roads, schools, jetty, market, others” This is sheer lexical misrepresentation.

“Mixed reactions over (to) militants’ resurgence in Niger Delta” (THE GUARDIAN, May 14)
“Bauchi NUT threaten (threatens) to down tools”
“As a journalist, how did he manage to round up the funds for the business?” Did he arrest the funds? Certainly not—how did he raise the capital, preferably?
“Delay in announcement of Hajj fares worry Bayero” ‘Delay… worries’.
“It has reduced families into nothingness.” ‘Reduce’ goes with ‘to’; not ‘into’
“Because such cars are not manufactured in the country, servicing them or fixing mechanical problems have forced them.…” Servicing them or fixing…has (not have).
“Their prowess were tested in the ability to play.…” Their prowess was (not were).
“School fees, shoes, books, uniforms and stationeries of course.” Plural of ‘stationery’ remains the same.

“Then, the shoes were parked with cotton wool or paper…” There is significant difference between ‘pack’ and ‘park’.
“For a man who took the gospel of exclusive breast-feeding to grassroot level….” Simply grassroots level—adjective or not
“At both the Enugu and Nsukka campuses of the university.…” (THISDAY, June 13) On (not at) the campuses
“The commission did analysed the memorable.…” I do not need to analyse the tense problem in the extract.
“It is simplistic to think that every decisions will be accepted by everybody. “Every decision or all decisions
“It’s constitution is over 200 years old and was drafted by just 55 men.” The possessive form of ‘its’ does not require an apostrophe.
Wrong: tranquility; right: tranquillity
“Robbery tribunal sworn-in” ‘Sworn in’, a phrasal verb, cannot function as a compound word.
“The veil of enemity between.…” Get it right: enmity.
“…the arrogance of certain persons connected directly or indirectly make me nervous….” The arrogance…makes me nervous.
“He had reflected back to this time two years ago.…” Yank off ‘back’, which smacks of functional illiteracy.
“However, with series of painstaking explanations.…” This way: a series of
“On my way to work, last week Wednesday…” Simply last Wednesday or Wednesday, last week

“And that is, the Nigerian police has not failed.” The Nigerian police have (not has).
“…the nation’s enormous human and material resources would blossom resulting eventually into (sic) economic buoyancy.” Get it right: resulting eventually in economic buoyancy.
“The campaign abroad is that Nigeria is on the verge of a huge conflagration.” (THISDAY, The Sunday Newspaper, June 12) ‘Conflagration’ does not need any amplification (huge).
“It is true that majority of us do not want to see Nigeria break.” A/the majority of us
“They were thought (what!) how to use cutleries as Frenchmen.” (THISDAY, June 13) My current dictionaries educated me that ‘cutlery’ is non-count. And this: ‘thought’ for ‘taught’? Could it be ignorance or carelessness?
“This piece does not intend to whip-up ethnic sentiments.…” (Source: as above) I do not intend to whip up (no hyphen) phraseological haughtiness.
“Strenghtening the universities” This way: straight and strength. Little marks of scholarship.
“One evening at the premises of THISDAY newspapers.…” (THISDAY, June 13) On the premises
“It is against this backdrop that the secretary…ought to have been congratulated for his initiative.…” (Source: as above) Familiarity with a phrase does not confer acceptability. So, congratulate on/upon (not for).
“At least, it will douse the heat for sometime. “ There is a difference between ‘some time’ and ‘sometime’
“The same should apply to other troubled spots.…” Exact idioms could be trouble spots for foreign learners of the English language.
“These sort of people along side (sic) with.…” This sort or these sorts….and of course, alongside.
“He has been a subject of incessant harassments, arrests and detention since then.” (THISDAY, June 13) ‘Harassment’ is uncountable.
“Earlier this year, FEPA officials had argued that they need an interval of raising public consciousness with regards to the environment.…” As regards or with regard to: you can also use ‘concerning’ in place of any of the two.
“We have heard of people running for office, a running mate, running neck to neck or the race between candidates X and Y being too close to call.” Politicians run neck and neck; not ‘neck to neck.
“That same day, Robinson, his supporters and other Nigerians demonstrated in front of the Nigerian embassy on 16th Street, just a stone throw from Trans-Africa’s office.” Democratic English: a stone’s throw
“Criminal investigations into the controversial death of…has run into a hitch. “For a hitch-free sentence, change ‘has’ to ‘have’.
“The Akabogu family took the hospital to court last year claiming N50 million damage for the death of.…” I claim no damages from Newswatch for all its damage to the English language!
Wrong: “forthnight”; right: fortnight
“Where this does not solve the problem, then it might be the full pump, pipe or tank outlet in which case can only be checked by a qualified personnel.” (WEEKEND VANGUARD, June 11) The word ‘personnel’ refers to people.
“…which was why the Abacha administration was ostensibly handing over the reigns of government to civilians without a hitch”. I cannot understand the relevance of ‘ostensibly’ here. And ‘reigns’ for ‘reins’? Are we dropping out? Or is it a question of fossilization?
“Outcome of these various conferences and workshops were articulated into what is now known as….” Outcome…was (not were). To avoid this kind of predication trap, rephrase.
“The theme is appropriate as the conference is the climax of series of conferences….” Again, a series of conferences
“…the various NGOs fought each other and generally.…” They fought one another; not each other (involving just two).
“And for Beijing, the final Prepcom took place between March 15 to April 4 at the UN Headquarters in New York.” (Between…and or from …to)
“As Nigerian women put finished (finishing) touches to their travel preparations….”
“This statistics show Nigerian cities to be among the fastest growing in the world. This statistic and of course these statistics.