By Ebere wabara; firstname.lastname@example.org, 08055001948
“LIKE (AS) I said earlier….” (Front Page News and Analysis, Classic 93.7 FM, 7 a.m., September 12)
THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER, of September 9 comes next with just two improprieties: “My grouse with (about) political parties in Nigeria”
“…these are the kind (kinds) of people that turn me on.”
“Togo at crossroads (at a/the crossroads)”
“9 months after, el-rufai re-opens (reopens) tertiary institutions in ‘Southern Kaduna” (DAILY SUN, September 6)
“We learnt Government (unnecessary capitalization) had promised to conduct thorough investigation on the death.” Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market governorship disaster: a thorough investigation into the death
“Some alleged without proof that Tinubu was the force behind Bamidele in his determination to confront Fayemi….” (THISDAY, August 3). If the word ‘allege’ means ‘to assert something without any proof’, then delete ‘without proof’ from the extract!
“Salt Spring Resort has been redefined and renovated to provide excellent service.” A refreshing experience of paradise: provide an excellent service or provide excellent services
Still on the above source: “We are poise (poised) to deliver uncompromise (uncompromised) quality product that will ultimately satisfied (satisfy) our esteemed customers. Come lets (let’s) give you….” (Full-page advertisement by Nanet Hotels Limited) What do we do with the sub-literacy of advertisement copies?
“Anger, protests, as deceased’s friends point fingers at lawmaker” Get it right: point the finger at lawmaker
THE NATION ON SUNDAY of September 10 endangered the English language on two occasions: “In most cases, the necessary environment does not exist for meaningful importation (impartation) of knowledge.”
“Matters are not helped by students who are now distracted by things that have no bearing to (on) their studies.”
“Gov. Aminu Tambuwal appears set to take the bull by the horn (horns) by declaring his interest in the 2019 presidency….”
“Students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, are to cough-out (two words without hyphenation) a total of N5 million for repairs of damages (damage) they perpetrated during a demonstration in July last year.” ‘Damage’ admits an inflection only in reparative matters.
“Now, It is the turn of the teachers, in the race for the coveted seat of vice-chancellorship, and boy, are the learned dons falling over themselves (one another) to out do (one word) each other (one another)?” When two fellows are concerned, we use ‘each other,’ but if it is more than two, it becomes ‘one another’,
“Secret cult in the campuses” Always on campuses
“Kano Pillars in trouble…yet to sign-on players” ‘Sign on’, a phrasal verb, does not require hyphenation.
“Thus, cargo that have been certified okay here….” I certify that ‘cargo’ is singular.
“Inconsistent government policies is globally disturbing….” Concord is one of the simplest things in grammar. Anybody who lacks this rudimentary knowledge has no business contributing to this most authoritative newspaper in Nigeria. You must develop your communicative skills first.
“Banks impose a lot difficult conditions on exporters and even charged (sic) some ‘hidden’ fees before the disbursement of these loans are (is) done…
“CPC to clampdown on illegal microfinance banks” Once more, phrasal verb: clamp down (two words).
“An acknowledged scholar, a distinguished statesman and a team leader per excellence” Get it right: leader par excellence.
“Some countries have taken tobacco manufacturers to court for the damages their products cause.” The will to die: damage is uncountable, except in reparative applications for indemnity.
“…what happened was that somebody filed a writ of summon.” This way (singular): a writ of summons; plural: summonses.
“It is the Federal Board that is always guilty of that, because it is them who take riff-raffs as welfare officers.” ‘Riff-raff’, just like ‘stuff’, is uncountable.
“Modern technology has reduced the world into (to) a hamlet where the inhabitants are their brothers’ keepers.” This way: brother’s keeper (fixed idiom), irrespective of the number of people involved.
“The coincidence in the timing of all those sleazy gossips in soft-sell magazines and the beginning of his fashion parade….” ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable.
“More overaged players for youth soccer” Get it right: overage players.
“Residents of some of the troubled spots in Libya in disarray” Witness to lexical mayhem: trouble spots.
“…rummaging all the bags and ransacking every nook and corner.” Stock expression: nook and cranny.
“The police requires (require) a redeemer who can uplift the Force from the battering it (they) suffered during the long years of militarization.”
“I inquired from those that appear to know and they said that the president is (was) roaming the country in the name of campaigns.”
“There is (are) no electricity, no security, no water, no roads, no health facilities in Nigeria.”
“Foreign companies will be falling over themselves (one another) to come and invest here if we get the 2019 elections right.”
“…given the lame-duck posture of the opposition parties, the PDP simply held sway from the onset (outset).”
“Reactions on (to) the Pope’s visit, however successful, were mixed in Egypt, a country inhabited by a predominantly Muslim population.”
“Prior to the Pope’s visit, Egyptian Catholics have (had) opted out of the….”
“The first part was published last week Friday.” Monday politics: either last Friday or Friday, last week.
“Vigilante (Vigilance) groups, committed to….”
Did you know that ‘twice’ and ‘thrice’ are outdated entries for two times and three times?
EBERE, I trust you are doing great! It has been quite a while I planned writing to encourage you after I read a couple of your articles since returning to Nigeria. Profound and brilliantly delivered in prosaic language that my perfectionist dad would have praised. Well done and may your ink never dry! Blessings always….
–Dr. Oby Ezekwesili
I remember how we started off years ago at the defunct Daily Times where our professional skills were nurtured by such brilliant editors as Onyema Ugochukwu, the late Femi Sonaike, John Araka, Dapo Aderinola, and Ndu Ughamadu, among others. Along with such brilliant minds as Tunde Olusunle, the late Femi Olatunde, Hakeem Bello, (emphasis mine), Abiodun Raufu, Louis Okoroma and Yomi Ola to name a few, we worked extremely hard and had such great fun.