Trouble Spot, Troubled Waters

with Ebere Wabara;, 08055001948


National Mirror of July 25 goofed: “FG seeks N921.4bn to complete 925 roads projects” All the Facts, All the Sides: 925 road projects.

“Even Dubai ran into trouble (troubled) waters in 2008-2009 when huge debt (a huge debt) forcibly….”

“The enforcement of that sentence against a teenage mother who had just delivered is certainly regretable.”  On the move: regrettable.

“…the average journalist usually burns this professional flag, forgets his own humble past once he or she crosses over to the corridor of power.”  Saturday People: corridors of power and this: their humble past once they….

“The government wants to dump all the dead stadia or sell them off to those who can breathe the breath of life on (into) them.”

“However, it could be useful to indicate that our research shows that the fortunes of NEXIM moved comfortably between (from) 1990 to 1992 and…”

“These terminations were made after NEXIM had undertaken screening exercise (must you add ‘exercise’?) both at home and abroad conducted series (a series) of travels, trainings (training).…”

“Trainings were held yesterday at the sports academy.” Viewpoint: ‘training’ is uncountable.

“Commissioner wants more vigilante groups” Rutam, hello: vigilance groups.

“The article was an insult on the Federal Government, the National Assembly and an affront on the ICPC and its competent and hardworking staff.” Justice in service of community: an affront to (not on) the ICPC.  And, of course, an insult to (not on) the FG.

“For quite sometime (some time) now, the poor and deteriorating condition of public infrastructure….”

 “A few weeks ago, there was some news report (a news report) about the involvement of….”

“…all the major roads in the Eastern part of the country have become pure death traps and for challenging his (President’s) non-challant attitude and doing anything positive in Igbo land.”  Get it right: nonchalant.

“Clinton, North Korea Minister hold talks” Foreign Affairs: North Korean Minster.

“…there have been series of polemical attacks of (on) the commission and its activities by an obscure and often fictitious section of the public.”  This way: a (take note) series of polemical attacks.

“The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces also addressed the nation same evening.”  Get it right: the same evening.

“INEC apologizes over aborted APC convention” To live in truth is to serve: apologies for something or to somebody.

“The almost impassible (impassable) roads accentuate the usual hectic traffic of motorists, making business transactions in Lagos a herculean task.”

“…robbers who held residents and commuters to ransome for hours….” Spell-check: ransom.

“I doff my hat for…” The right mix: I take off or doff my hat to (not for).

“Out of a lawyers’ population estimated at about 20,000, only five females have been opportuned (opportune) to adorn the silk.”

“This is another scintillating edition for the matured (mature) mind.”

“Preponderant of the views aired by the people centre around issues like corruption, unemployment….” Running a true federation: Preponderance…centres….

“Benue assures on abandoned project” Just tell readers who the state assured.

 “A recent report on food related (a hyphen) ailments show (shows) that in many parts of the world….” “Unfortunately, however, I, and many other Nigerians have been infuriated by our servants….” In pursuit of linguistic orderliness: many other Nigerians and I.   The concept of the cart and the horse applies to language usage, too.

“But all our future blessing would be achieved through waiting in the Lord.”  If you are after God’s heart, you wait on, not in, the Lord.

“Before embarking on the strike action….” You can as well embark on the ‘strike inaction’!

“It was as though both informants were mischievous people who had an affinity in (for) discrediting the preacher.”

“The vigilante group visited instant judgment on the thief and sent him to the great beyond.”  In the name of excellence: vigilance group.

“Sixteen people were killed and two others seriously injured in a ghastly (fatal) accident which occurred along (on) the Bauch-Auchi road on Saturday.” If there were casualties, it follows that it was a fatal, not a ghastly, accident.  The mishap did not drag along the road, but occurred at a spot on the road.

“Some of the despotic regimes thrown up in (on) the continent did worse things than was experienced under colonialism.”

“A weekly magazine took a professional risk and charged the speaker for (with) forgery.”

“…the same-day election being proposed by the senate as part of the antidote for….” This way: antidote to….

“Calls (on the same quarter page) for Ekiti poly (Poly) rector’s sack unreasonable, says CSOs” Why the disagreement?

“Egypt (Egyptian) court acquits ex-oil minister of corruption charges”

“Who wins (win) Kogi senatorial seats?” A senator is entitled to only a seat!

“The Board and Management of Niger Delta Power Holding Company invites (invite) the world to the official commissioning (auspication/inauguration) of the 750 megawatts….”

“Cameroon (Cameroonian) troops recover Nigerian armoured carrier from sect”

“Sanusi, the man at the centre of the melodrama, had, in September 2013, written (written to) President Goodluck Jonathan alleging that….”

 THE GUARDIAN of July 26 contributed just one impropriety: “Role of meter testing (meter-testing) equipment”

THE NATION ON SUNDAY of July 25 comes next: “APC flag (standard) bearer says PDP’s desperation frightening for Nigeria”

“Boko Haram failure of govt, says Catholic Bishops” Why the slip? Yet another slip-up: ”Ondo APC chieftains condemns attack on Buhari”

“After the mudslinging and other inanities that have characterized electioneering campaigns in the last few weeks….” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY COMMENT, February 1)     ‘Electioneering’ and ‘campaign’ cannot co-function.

“Crocodile tears for late (the late) coach….”

“Odo: Where masquerades (masqueraders) celebrate love” ‘Masquerade’ is the mask/effigy worn by masqueraders.

“Eye catching (Eye-catching) brights (sic)”

“Microsoft launches internet user friendly (user-friendly) phone”

“His joy was shattered by a distressed (distress) call informing him that the dutiful PRO of the university…died in an auto crash few (a few) minutes after he left the school for his home in Ogun State.”

“Second hand (Second-hand) clothes business boom (booms) in Ilorin Sunday Market”

“Why people patronize second hand (sic) clothings” ‘Clothing’ is uncountable.

“Nissan reinvents X-Trail SUV with family oriented (family-oriented) values”

“Happy 45th Birthday Anniversary to my mentor” ‘Birthday’ and ‘anniversary’ cannot co-exist because ‘anniversary’ is otiose in that phrase.

“Truck load (Truck-load) of Cheers”

“Oil price drops below $50 per barrel,, in over five year (five-year) low”

“Taking a journey into the Abia State governorship election campaigns…reckons that the Abia electorate appears (appear) wiser now.”

“Buhari’s grouse with (about) senior citizens”

“Reps in last minute (last-minute) move to….” (THE GUARDIAN, July 25)

“African economies have great potentials (potential or potentialities) to build on their demographic dynamism, rapid urbanization and natural resources assts.”

“Why we can’t continue display of voter’s (voters’) cards at polling units, by INEC”

“Worries over incessant fire outbreaks” Just fires—no need for outbreaks.

“The post election (post-election) petrol price increase (1)”  “Ascendancy of social media in build up (build-up) to US elections”

“Achieving balance in work ethics (ethic), industrial harmony”

“Presidential declaration: My take away (takeaway)”  “Investing into (in) toothpicks manufacturing and packaging business”

“Police disrupts (why?)APC rally in Akure with teargas”  “President’s convoy trapped, heavy causalities (casualties) recorded”

“Day Egba in Minna rolled out drums to celebrate 50 (50th) Anniversary”

“Rags to riches (Rags-to-riches) story of university proprietor”

“FG commended over (for) rice value chain”

“Pensioners demand payment of 29 months (months’) arrears”

The last three errors this week are from THE NATION ON SUNDAY of July 25: “Assemblies of God sets (set) for great awakening”

“Apostolic Church commissions (inaugurates) road, building”

“Beckham watches son takes (take) on Liverpool youngsters” The wages of spiritual ungrammaticality is journalistic death!

ONCE more, corrections in this column are mostly in brackets immediately after the wrong word or expression—excluding, of course, the attributions, emphases and elucidations.


wPLEASE note that “evidence” is both countable and uncountable, but, in a law case, we correctly say or write: a piece of evidence/ pieces of evidence, some evidence/enough evidence/a mass of evidence, etc. We cannot afford to have the mediocre. The mediocre cannot teach/communicate is correct. “Reoccur”, like “reoccurrence”, is Americanism, “bus station” is Briticism while “motor park” is Nigerianism. “Host-guest” is Briticism while “invitor-invitee” is Americanism. Usage is king. (BAYO OGUNTUNASE, 08056180046)