Still on First Bank’s Foibles

with Ebere Wabara, 08055001948

Let us welcome Television Continental (TVC) to this column. Its STANDPOINT news scroll of October 15 fumbled: “Arrested judges: NJC, NBA disagrees (why?) with The Presidency”

THISDAY of October 15 goofed copiously: “Some people are (were) sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position.”

First Bank’s serial errors continue this week: “We would be showcasing the career potentials (potential or potentialities) in food….” (Full-page advertisement, THISDAY, October 15) ‘Potential’ is uncountable.

“Her lips curl solemnly and fondly as she let (lets) out the first few words about her life with her parents.” It would have been ‘let’ if ‘curl’ had been inflected (past tense).

“As she narrates the episodes of her sojourn on earth, she makes the most challenging moment of life appears (appear) ordinary.”

“The only time we had a misunderstanding that almost resulted into (in) physical fight was the day….”

“…at the party level or at (on) the national platform….”

“…the Ondo debacle is beginning to show Asiwaju as a giant with a clay feet.” Loud whispers: a giant with clay feet

“Speed Limiter: Six days post motem (sic) (six days’/six-day post-mortem)”

Finally from THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER: “…is a society where the playing field between the rich and the poor are (is) more balanced than in any nation I have experienced.”

From DAILY SUN of October 10 comes the next flaw: “Lack of funds hinder (hinders) ex-Oil minister, Diezani’s probe”

“2019 general elections (election) in danger, says Senate” (The Guardian Front Page Banner, September 28)

“Abagana Welfare Union, Central Executive: all correspondences (correspondence) to President-General” And this: “siege of (to) Abagana….” (Full-page advertorial, DAILY SUN, September 14)

“Telecoms operators link poor services on (to) 20 unapproved handsets” (The Guardian Front Page Headline, October 3)

“Uncertainty as PDP goes for make or mar (make-or-mar) national convention” (Centre spread headline, DAILY SUN, August 17)

The Guardian of October 14 fumbled two times:                                                  “The United States has donated a whooping (whopping) N995 billion to the Multinational Joint Task Force to boost military operations against the Boko Haram insurgency, the U.S. government has said.” Conscience, Nurtured by Truth: no whooping cough, please

“Also, the (The) Presidency has pledged to garner the necessary investments to improve the wheeling capacity of the nation’s transmission infrastructure.” Would it have been ‘unnecessary’ investment?

Still on THE GUARDIAN under focus: “He said that is (was) why he would come back to salvage the state and rescue it to put it back to realize it’s (its) pride of place as he left it in 2003 and go even beyond that.”

“Cash and carry (Cash-and-carry) democracy, bane of Nigeria’s development”

“Falana supports Soyinka’s objections on (to) Sexual Offences Bill”

“Train to become a certified child care personnel (official)” ‘Personnel’ is a collective noun.

“In other jurisdiction (another jurisdiction or other jurisdictions), you don’t just file for the sake of filing, you can’t just take a matter for the sake of taken (taking) it.”

“We therefore regret any inconveniences this might cause our esteem (esteemed) distributors. This announcement is ordered by Tiens Group—Nigeria.”

“NDIC boss charges corps members on bank saving (bank-saving) culture”

“…and newly-elected officials sworn-in (sworn in) at the federal and state levels….” Phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation.

“Oil swap (Oil-swap) contracts: AITEO not front for Jonathan, Alison-Madueke—Spokesperson” Except if the headline caster meant that oil was swapping contracts!

“Jigawa council chairmen pledge support to (for) APC govt”

“I wish you many more years in good health and prosperity, to further your accomplishments to (in) journalism and humanity (service to humanity, you mean?)”

“I and my wife, Lady (My wife, Lady…and I….) Etymological sequence is critical to good writing.

“Use of made-in Nigerian (Nigeria) cars by Mr. President (Buhari) will lift auto industry”

“Tribunal will recover Abia stolen mandate, APGA chieftain assures” Who did the chieftain assure?

“Soyinka laments Chibok girls (girls’) continued captivity” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY, October 16)

THE NATION ON SUNDAY of October 9 comes up next with the following errors: “Dangote commissions (inaugurates/auspicates/launches, et al) $500 million cement plant in Ethiopia”

“Buhari to flag off (inaugurate) super highway in Cross River”

“First and foremost, you must look at the PDP; they mismanaged their victory and haven (having) mismanaged the victory….”

“The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria…played very prominent roles during the electioneering campaigns that ushered in the new administration.” ‘Electioneering’ and ‘campaigns’ cannot co-exist in the same lexical environment as the former encompasses the latter.

From THE NATION ON SUNDAY of October 2 issues the next set of diseased lines: “Ekweremadu: Igbos (Igbo) right to vote for PDP”

“On the occasion of your birthday anniversary….” For the umpteenth time, ‘birthday’ and ‘anniversary’ cannot co-function. ‘Birthday’ is the anniversary/commemoration of one’s birth.


TAKE note that the old, grammatical rule that “one” must be followed by “one” and its parts –“one, one’s, oneself”, has changed. The feeling that the repetition of “one”—one’s (e.g. One must do what one can to ensure one’s family a decent standard of living) makes for a stilted style has now led to the permissible shift from “one, one’s” to “he, his” (e.g. One must do what he can to ensure his family a decent standard of living).

In general, a shift in the number or nature of pronouns is undesirable, but this particular shift is established usage. Examples: When one is in power and things go his way in highly competitive elections, his first task is to fight his own mentality. Perhaps one has gone to the university where he has been given the wrong orientation that his degree is an opportunity to reach for the skies just like that. One could be said to hate himself if he lacks self–confidence in his abilities.

Every user of the language, particularly every journalist or communicator, must keep abreast of the current changes—the dynamics—in the language. (BAYO OGUNTUNASE/08056180046)