MEDIA GAFFESÂ Â
With Ebere Wabara email@example.com, 08055001948
â€œAkwa Ibom State people oriented (people-oriented in proper context, by the way) governanceâ€¦â€ (DAILY Sun Front Page Bottom Strip, January 31) Touching lives in past 30 months: Would it have been lizards-oriented governance?
The next two blunders are from a full-page advertorial signed by Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State Governor & Chairman, Southern Governorsâ€™ Forum, DAILY SUN, January 31): â€œâ€¦a politician per (par) excellence and a highly revered elder statesman.â€
â€œDuring his lifetimeâ€¦.â€ Just use â€˜lifeâ€™ or â€˜timeâ€™â€”compounding â€˜lifeâ€™ and â€˜timeâ€™ is overkill!
â€œReps give Amaechi 72 hours (hoursâ€™) ultimatum on Isreali (Israeli) contractâ€ (NATIONAL NEWS, January 31)
â€œThis is mark (a mark) of double standards (standard)â€ (Source: as above)
â€œOko Poly declares 2 days (daysâ€™) holiday for Ekwuemeâ€ (SOUTH EAST NEWS, January 31)
â€œHerdsmen (Herdsmenâ€™s) killings with AK47 assault rifles are daily occurrences.â€ (Voice of The Nation, January 31)
â€œOkowa flags off (inaugurates) widowsâ€™ social welfare schemeâ€ (SOUTH SOUTH NEWS, January 31)
THISDAY Front Page of February 3 comes next with two errors: â€œThe former president had accused the incumbent of running a government of nepotism and literarily (literally) running the economy aground whileâ€¦.â€
â€œâ€¦support not only for his government but also for his re-election come (in) 2019â€¦.â€
â€œWhether you choose a personal or group savings plan, you can now meet your financial goals conveniently on your smart device whereever (sic) you are.â€ (Full-page advertisement by Diamond Bank, THISDAY, SATURDAY, February 3) Are there still computers without automatic spell-check mechanisms? Or is it the slipshoddiness of the copy handlers?
â€œKogi senator train (why?), empower (how?) womenâ€ (Source: as above)
Still on THISDAY under reference: â€œTourism expert sees potentials (potential or potentialities) in Lagos water sportsâ€
Can somebody tell RCCG City of David Sanctuary that the spelling of â€˜extensionâ€™ is not â€˜extentionâ€™ and â€˜Church (not Chuch) Roadâ€¦? (Full-page advertisement, THISDAY, February 3) This particular solecism also appeared like this last year! Templates can be corrected.
The next three infractions are from a full-page advertorial by the All Progressives Congress, Nasarawa State, DAILY SUN, February 5): â€œ while wishing you a memorable stay in the state (a comma)we are hopeful that your visit will serve as a further impetus to our hardworking Governor (sic) as he continue (continues) with his people oriented (sic)programmes.â€ No, it should have been â€˜tuwo-orientedâ€™ programmes!
â€œWe are also confident that your visit will endow more federal presence to (with) the state.â€
â€œHerdsmen (Herdsmenâ€™s) attacks: 8 feared dead in Adamawaâ€
â€œEnugu approves consolidated health workers (workersâ€™) salary scaleâ€
â€œUyo residents commend gov over (for) 45 new roadsâ€
â€œCommunities blame FG over (for) poor handling of Benue killingsâ€
â€œEkweremadu kicks-off (kicks off) 2018 Ikeoha Youth Sports championshipâ€ Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.
Mail from Adelabu
Mr. Ebere Wabaraâ€™s column, although not novel, is a good effort to redress the attenuating standard of journalism in our land.
But since his goal is to call writersâ€™ attention to their mistakes to avoid recurrence and educate readers generally, mentioning errorsâ€™ sources are (sic) absolutely irrelevant and unnecessary.
Besides, in his column (January 27) comments such as: â€œIs The Guardian still the flagship of Nigerian journalism?â€ Â â€œThe self-acclaimed Voice of the Nation (referring to Daily Sun), no standard publication dispenses with it (still Daily Sun),â€ are scandalous, to say the least. Maybe these snides (sic) are also part of the errors by Wabaraâ€™s judgment!
The gentleman of the press even failed to do enough justice to his own paperâ€™s errors. His sharp and piercing eyes could see only one of the numerous! â€˜â€™A court ruled (a comma missing) affirming zoning (another comma missing) but paradoxically dismissing Atikuâ€™s suite,â€™â€™ the only one seen by Wabara, that is, suit!
Mr. Wabara should note that independent clauses or sentences connected by a coordinating conjunction such as â€˜anâ€™,â€™orâ€™,â€™butâ€™,â€™norâ€™,â€™forâ€™,â€™yetâ€™ and â€˜soâ€™ should admit a comma before the conjunction – in this case – â€˜butâ€™
Hope Wabaraâ€™s life ambition to work in The Guardian was not dashed by the Flag-bearer, denying him employment, hence the bitterness?
â€¦Dialectal misconceptions galore
I must thank Mr. Adelabu for the incoherent feedback which has been perfunctorily and marginally edited. Ordinarily, I should have dismissed this mail and its combative content that reeks of diatribe. But, there is no doubt that there are other readers with his kind of preposterous disposition to intellectual issues who need to be civilized.
This columnist welcomes rejoinders in any form, but let such contributions be in good taste. The media platform is a public space for the exchange of ideas and information. It should not be abused under any disguise, especially when you do not know the background of your audiences. No matter the level of provocationâ€”if that is the right wordâ€”we should show maturity and responsibility.
The moment you exclude the identities of publications with highlighted blunders, this column loses credibility as far as I am concerned. What it means, going by Mr. Adelabuâ€™s befuddled thinking, is that I could just concoct errors without any attribution (source)! The essence of the identification is for reference purposes and confirmation. I am not a fictional writer. â€˜Wordsworthâ€™ is a scholastic column that strives for language purity (not perfection, as there can be none) in the Nigerian media, particularly. It is not a soft-sell platform for journalistic gossip, mischief and celebration of inanities.
It should interest one and all to know that I do not have anything against any publication by virtue of my robust media pedigree having worked in three out of four national newspapers as a full member of the Editorial Board (among other editorial and administrative assignations), edited one of them almost a decade ago and written award-winning articles that cut across multifarious disciplines in the heyday of Daily Times and beyond. So, when I ask whether â€˜â€˜The Guardianâ€™ is still the flagship of Nigerian journalismâ€™? It simply infers, to those who appreciate etymological and morphological registers, which the publication has fallen below my expectation. Â This is easy to understand by any cerebral mind. It is not derogatory at all.
With regard to â€˜DAILY Sunâ€™ (one of the places I worked and maintained a racy Back Page column for two years), even the publisher (who is a friend of mine) and the entire directorate know full well that I can never, no matter the circumstance, run the medium down because of my very special relationships with the organizationâ€™s management and staff. If I may ask, what is wrong in my questioning institutional self-acclamation?
As for having any employment grouse about â€˜The Guardianâ€™, I just laugh at the idiocy! If Mr. Adelabu gets to know my profuse career antecedents and job currency, he would be shocked at his imbecilic ignorance. In my part of country, we say that someone who does not know another contemptuously calls him his friend.
My not correcting all faulty punctuation marks is not an oversight or incapacity. It is to avoid trivialization of this column. As critical as they are to classical writing, they are too mechanistic for me to dwell on. I am interested only in lexical and structural gaffes, not the totality of the grammar of English. If I address all the media language goofs, this column is likely to become stupendously academic, didactic, boring and unappealing. There is even no space for that. My goal is to make it educative and entertaining for pleasurable reading.
I have gone this length to foreclose receipt of shallow, vexatious and baseless rejoinders. I look forward to constructive criticisms, rich contributions, analytical comments and logical observations that culminate in reader enrichment and the columnistâ€™s edification.