Writing on The Wall


With EBERE WABARA; ewabara@yahoo.com, 08055001948

DAILY SUN of September 18 welcomes us today with this headline error: “NIMC deploys verification mode for (in) banks, others—DG”
Voice of The Nation comes next: “150 killed in Niger boat mishap (fatality/tragedy)” (DAILY SUN Front Page Kicker, September 18) The victims were not killed, but died following the boat mishap—except, of course, there was a foul play or premeditated murder. If that happened, it should not have been classified a ‘mishap’.
Exemplary elucidation: “31 die in Lagos-Ibadan Expressway auto crash” (Saturday PUNCH Front Page Reference Headline, September 16). ‘Killing’ is, usually, a wilful act. Most newspapers even publish “road crash” as if it is the road that crashes! Kudos, Saturday PUNCH, from where we extracted the next two infelicities, all the same:
Dream weddings: “Sacrificing can become a life changing (life-changing) experience”
“Inflation drops for seventh consecutive months (month) to 16.01%”

“$1.1bn Malabu deal: Crisis brews over Reps (Reps’) invitation to Jonathan”
“He said their action defeats (defeated) the essence of releasing the funds, noting that the (otiose article inclusion) civil servants and pensioners depend on such salaries and benefits for their upkeep and that of their families.” (DAILY Sun Editorial, September 18, 2017)
“NACCIMA commends SON over (for) import, export capacity”
“The Board, Management and staff of PETROGAS LIMITED and GAMMAGAS LIMITED announce the death of one of our founding DIRECTOR (directors)….”
DAILY Sun Editorial of September 13 takes over this week with two juvenile blunders: “It is, indeed, a sad commentary that in this 21st century (21st Century), majority (a majority) of Nigerians….”
“Your commitments to the cause of humanity and many other ways in which you have impacted positively in (on) in the lives of several people within and beyond is a great attribute (are great attributes).”
“Accolades as ex-beauty queen float (floats) school in Abuja”
“Gov Ikpeazu declares dusk to dawn (dusk-to-dawn) curfew in Aba” (DAILY SUN NATIONAL NEWS Rider, September 13)
OVERHEARD: “…handwriting on the wall” Get it right: writing on the wall
“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 and 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.
“Trump, 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 PDP convention” To live in truth is to serve: apologize for something or to somebody.
“The most 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 (16 people died) 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 is being proposed by the senate as part of the antidote for….” This way: antidote to….