SATURDAY MEDIA GAFFESÂ Â
ByÂ Ebere Wabara
â€œWHY waste another year at home doing nothing? When you can enroll for Salem Pre-Versity Collegeâ€ (Half-page advertisement signed by an anonymous Registrar, DAILY SUN, February 7) â€˜Versityâ€™ for Varsity? This is a foretaste of the quality of education this Lokoja institution will impart to its unfortunate students!
â€œVIO reads riot act (the riot act) to erring officersâ€ (Abuja Metro, February 7)
The next five blunders are from a full-page advertorial signed by Umeh Kalu (SAN), Hon. Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Abia State, DAILY SUN, February 7):
â€œThe House Resolution was complied with by the Governor resulting to (in) the swearing-in (swearing in) ofâ€¦.â€
â€œThe National Judicial Council further advised the State Government to swear-in (swear in)â€¦.â€ Phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation.
â€œThe power of the National Judicial Council to mete out disciplinary measures on (to) erring judges is not in contest.â€
â€œWe cannot therefore jettison but embrace and abide whole-heartedly the wise counsel of these eminent Twenty-Five (25) men and women constituting the council.â€ Attorney-Generalâ€™s Chambers: abide with
â€œâ€¦the regime of crime with many youths taking to kidnapping and all manners of vices.â€ (DAILY CHAMPION Opinion Page, December10) Right: all manner of vices.
â€œMenace of under-aged votersâ€ Get it right: underage voters. Never â€œoveragedâ€ players or â€œmaturedâ€ politicians.
â€œNASS will re-open Bakassi issueâ€ (THISDAY Headline, December 30) This way: reopen.
â€œUgwueze goes to the alterâ€ (SATURDAY Vanguard Headline, January 6) High-heeled: altar.
â€œImo: Late arrival of materials mar election in Oguta LGâ€ A recurring case of subject-verb disagreement: Late arrival of materials mars (not mar). It has nothing to do with â€œmaterialsâ€, but â€œlate arrivalâ€.
â€œIn the past, such leaders have (had) plundered the common wealth and infected the environment with the demon of greed and avarice.â€ (NIGERIAN Tribune, December 11) â€œThe electorate streams (stream) out tomorrow at the beginning of a voting exercise that will ultimately ease outâ€¦.â€
There are two types of Persil brands in the market, apparently imported by private individuals (are there public individuals?) who thought there are (were) openings in Nigeriaâ€™s detergent market.â€ (Vanguard, February 11)
â€œLarge turn-out signpost rescheduled Imo pollsâ€ (BUSINESSDAY, February 12) Get it right: turn-out signposts.
â€œNo other country in (on) this continent throws up the kind of absurdities that we have in this land.â€ (DAILY INDEPENDENT, January 8)
â€œSuch persons should be declared persona non grate (sic).â€ (Source: as above) At the crossroads: personae non grata.
â€œIf he were still in power, the former governor would have been immuned (immune) toâ€¦.â€ (DAILY Sun, December 11)
â€œThirdly, corruption was not limited to the outgoing governor but involved his cohorts at the corridor of power.â€ (Nigerian Tribune, December 11) Africaâ€™s executive robbers: in the corridors of power.
â€œEven though I wanted to see him, he advised against it on the ground that I could get into troubleâ€¦.â€™â€™ (Sunday Champion, January 7) The verdict: on the grounds.
Still on the above edition: â€œThe state Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has 36 chapels out of which seven chapel officers, all duely (duly) nominated and some of the.â€¦â€
â€œâ€¦arrogating the powers of the National President and the Central Working Committee (CWC) on (to) himself and.â€¦â€ (THE GUARDIAN, December 11)
â€œâ€¦the reduction on the external debt and investment in social infrastructures and equipments.â€ (THE PUNCH, December 11) The last word in the extract is uncountable, just like these: stationery, bedding, cutlery, jewelry, gossip (as an act)â€¦.
â€œWhy is President Muhammadu Buhari dragging his foot (feet/heels) on probing treasury lootersâ€¦?â€
â€œâ€¦abolish the federal agency and realign it into (with) mainstream government machinery.â€ (NIGERIAN Tribune, December 11)
â€œThugs in Imo State lay siege on electoral materialsâ€ (Sunday Champion, January 8) This way: lay siege to (not on).
â€œThey had a second wind between 1964 to 1985, though they did not know it.â€ (Source: as above) A recurring error: between 1964 and 1985 or from 1964 to 1985â€”no mix-up.
â€œI must confess from the onset that I am not a protagonist of military rule.â€™â€™ ((DAILY CHAMPION, May 11) Get it right: from the outset (in this context).
â€œThe boss and his secretary will continue to have intimate official connection, in spite of gossips.â€ (DAILY CHAMPION, December 11) â€˜Gossipâ€™, as an act, is uncountable. But, with reference to those who talk idly and backbite, inflection of the word is allowed.
â€œBut ours is quite different, judging by the experience with regards to the activities of the electedâ€¦.â€ Either of these: as regards or with regard to.
â€œThe industrial sectors of the economy have to invest in information technology, the type of which would stimulate the necessary (could it have been unnecessary?) inputs to produce good results.â€™â€™ In British Standard English, which strictly applies here, â€˜inputâ€™ is non-count, but countable in the usually informal American English, which, of course, is a corruption of the formal version.
â€œThe elitist Ikoyi Club, established in 1938, sometime ago celebrated its Diamond Jubilee amid pomp and pageantry.â€ (DAILY CHAMPION, December 11) Standard expression: pomp and ceremony (or circumstance) or just pomp. The expression, â€˜pomp and pageantryâ€™, is a perversion of the English language.
â€œStaff Reporterâ€¦takes a peep into the nationâ€™s recent past and notes that it is a past whose scars will remain for sometime.â€ (THE GUARDIAN, February 11) Right focus: for some time.
â€œOne of the suspects said his intention was to warm (worm) his way back to the country.â€¦â€
â€œâ€¦gunshot wounds he received in the hands of armed banditsâ€¦.â€ (DAILY CHAMPION, January 11) Reporters who donâ€™t appreciate the magnitude of â€˜banditryâ€™ should play ball with â€˜armed robberyâ€™ â€˜Banditryâ€™ is simply criminal violence, involving sophisticated weaponry. So, in the interest of morphological sanity, delete â€˜armedâ€™.
The next catachresis is from the Sunday Vanguard of January 7: â€œThe chairman of the occasion quickly acknowledged it was not easy to launch a book after Chidi has (had) launched it.â€
â€œTwo failed banks chiefs get bailâ€ Towards a better use of language: bank chiefs. The plurality of â€˜banksâ€™ had been taken care of by â€˜chiefsâ€™, in line with syntactic sequence.