Contextualization

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SATURDAY EXPRESSION

By Ebere Wabara

ewabara@yahoo.com, 08055001948

OVERHEARD: “How many is inside”? Most people commit this egregious blunder! For those who do not already know: How many are inside?

DAILY SUN Politics & Power Opening Page of May 16 formally welcomes us this week with these juvenile solecisms: “As a law abiding (law-abiding) governor and someone who believes in the rule of law…they may suspect him to be involved in security breach or perpetuating insecurity.” Get it right: a security breach or security breaches—depending on context.

“There is need to reconnect Nigerians back with the country called Nigeria and I think that national reconciliation and integration is the answer.” Yank off ‘back’ and this: reconciliation and integration are (not is) the answers because of their distinction.

“APC aspirants trade blames over botched primary” (DAILY SUN Banner, May 7) ‘Blame’ is uncountable.

“On behalf of the Government and good people of Bayelsa State, I heartily felicitate with you, my good friend (good friend of mine), the Deputy Senate President, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu (a coma) on your (his) 56th birthday anniversary.” (Full-page advertorial, DAILY SUN, May 14) Delete ‘anniversary’ because it is otiose.

“FG has no grouse with Ondo electorate —Saraki” (THE PUNCH Headline, May 18) FG has no grouse about (not with)….

“Buhari issues marching order to cement producers” (THISDAY Headline, May 17) Truth & reason: marching orders.

“LASAA’s double standards” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Headline, May 16) Fixed expression: double standard.

“This is crucial because our steps have been faulty from the onset (outset).” (DAILY CHAMPION Back Page, May 12)

The next four blunders are from SATURDAY TRIBUNE of 12 May: “…the noise pollution that accompany (accompanies) the use and subsequent rise in the level of stress.”

“I am usually on (in) my farm and I don’t think you….”

“He spoke on Supersports about his achievements and experiences on the saddle of CAF Champions League second round….” SATURDAY Sports: in the saddle.

“…Idoko has commended the board of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) over (for) the successful organization of the first round of….”

“Bill Gates: The billionaire with unparallel love for the less privileged” Exceptional philanthropy: unparalleled love

“UNIBEN alumni commends INEC” (THE GUARDIAN Headline, May 12) UNIBEN alumni commend, but UNIBEN alumni association commends. No muddle.

“Sometimes (Sometime) ago, twenty-three wise men met at….”

“As police beams (beam) searchlight on some formal groups, associations and organizations.”

“In his sermon at the occasion.…” Get it right: on the occasion.

“In 1996, ASUU, apart from demanding for the review…” Military and varsity education: delete ‘for’ in the interest of grammatical sanity.

“The Yorubas like I said on this platform last Friday.…” This way: The Yoruba, as (not like) I said, on this platform last Friday….

“…the good foundation laid for take-off and hopefully with what we have read and saw (seen) in the media….”

“He sacked the Shonekan administration and assumed the reign of power as Head of State.” Get it right: reins of government.

“They like parading themselves in state-of-the-art cars, leaving (living) in mansions and dictating the economy (how?) of the country with their loots (loot).” Do we resort to vernacular, in the light of the foregoing morphological tragedies?

“Thrown into panic, the driver of my vehicle managed to find a save (safe) haven from the portion of the road lawfully meant for Abuja-bound motorist (motorists).”

“… talkless of (let alone) those actually chased into them by the escorts of the ‘big’ (sic) men.”

The next outrageous error is from Vanguard of May 15: “We urge that investigations be launched into the circumstances that led to the embarrassment and ask that those involved be brought to book to forestall a re-occurrence.” Let us foreclose a recurrence of ‘Eze-Goes-to-School’ blunders.

“The last but not the least is….” An extra: the last but not least. That is the correct expression.

“She is an alumnus of the popular….” Standard style: an alumna.

The next six blunders are from the sports pages of the Saturday Newspaper: “Flying Eagles (Eagles’) sloppy play bothered (bordered) on the fact that.…”

“I seized the opportunity (sic) to congratulate him for (on/upon) the very great successes at the recent polls.…” Standard English: I used the opportunity….

“…the smallish player was the life wire (sic) of the Flying Eagles….” Russia 2018: livewire.

“The screening of the prospective footballers continued with the captain playing the role of the ball boy, perhaps with the believe that.…” Change ‘believe’ to ‘belief’.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the bandwagon of progress.” Progressive English: climb or jump (not join) on/aboard the bandwagon.

The next two blunders are from the DAILY TRUST of May 15: “Today, the Whiteman’s problem has been fully entrenched in the dark continent, especially south of the Sahara.” Standard expression: on the Dark Continent

“Abia police warns (warn) on tinted windscreen”

“3 state-own industries to begin production soon” This way: state-owned industries.

“Drivers of luxurious (luxury) buses are not so often stopped or extorted.”

“Such accusation levelled on (against/at) the FRSC is, however, an exception rather than the rule.”

“…the commission was poised to enforce all road violations.” This is sheer linguistic monstrosity! Perhaps, it is only in Nigeria—where everything is plausible and possible—that violations (instead of laws and regulations) can be enforced.

“The reporter had been involved in a ghastly motor accident that claimed the lives of over five people almost immediately along (on) the popular Ibadan-Lagos expressway.” When lives are lost in any vehicular mishap, it is a fatal (not ghastly) accident.

“Some few years later after I had almost forgotten about the Navy….” ‘Some‘ and ‘few’ cannot co-function.

“So when this new uniform group was set up in 1988 by the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida administration, I have (had) no doubt in my mind (where else?) that this would certainly work because of the calibre of people behind it.”

“People in power in this country atimes (at times) amuse me by their….”