By Ebere Wabara
LET us begin with a visit to Champion House, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos: â€œSoldiers take over troubled spotsâ€ Let peace reign: trouble spots.
â€œPost election violence spreadsâ€ Towards a better life for the people: Post-election violenceâ€¦.
â€œMan killed in car accidentâ€ Why not â€™â€™Man dies in car accident?â€™â€™ He was not killed!
â€œPresident Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, expressed sadness over the sporadic violent protest (protests)â€¦.â€
The next headline blunder is from last weekâ€™s edition of this medium: â€œPolice arrest four over Maiduguri explosionâ€ Do we arrest the entire editorial team for (not over) lexical recklessness?
â€œBribery enthrones mediocrity and crucify merit.â€ The Tabernacle of bribery crucifies merit.
â€œGang up against Buhari will failâ€ Phrasal verb: gang up; noun: gang-up (which applies here).
â€œWe were treated to another similar incidence.â€¦â€ All newspapers should know the difference between â€˜incidenceâ€™ and â€˜incidentâ€™ (which applies here).
â€œAlthough the governorâ€™s last minute romance with the main opposition party is held against him.â€¦â€ Saturday People: last-minute (take note of the hyphen) romance
â€œThus, a core investorâ€¦with regards to optimal use of the machinery.â€¦â€ Either: as regards or with regard toâ€¦.
â€œIn the heydays of the goggled General when fuel was often unavailableâ€¦.â€ Stranglehold of oil workers: heyday (uncountable).
â€œLast year, many houses of the Igbo in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos, were razed down.â€¦â€ No word abuse: simply razed (not razed down). Discard the contrary views by some registers!
Yet another headline gaffe: â€œRestrictions on inter-bank foreign exchange trading is (are) killing the market.â€
â€œArmed robbers now have good companyâ€“street thugs and unofficial vigilante groups.â€ (THE GUARDIAN, April 20 ) Democracy as a disincentive: vigilance group.
â€œBuhari points accusing fingers at INECâ€¦.â€ (DAILY SUN, April 20) People in the news: Buhari points the finger. No obtuse addition.
â€œNigeria is at a crossroadâ€ (VANGUARD, April 20) Fixed expression: at a/ the crossroads.
â€œStationeries badly needed by.â€¦â€ (DAILY INDEPENDENT, April 20) â€˜Stationeryâ€™ is non-count.
â€œBut what appears criminal is the desire of these off-springs of.â€¦â€ (DAILY CHAMPION, April 20) â€˜Offspringâ€™ does not take any inflection.
The next three goofs are from VANGUARD of April 20: â€â€¦the process of economic integration from which will emerge an economic block (bloc).â€¦â€
â€œThere is a tussle going on between these two (would it have been three?) arms of government.â€
â€œNigerian leaders and politicians have continued to adopt and acquiesce to (in).â€¦â€
â€œGlobacom sets (set) to rule domestic marketâ€ (Nigerian Tribune, April 20)
â€œI have been briefed that the wrangling among the leaders of PDP are (is) over.â€ (SUNDAY VANGUARD, April 17)
BusinessDay of April 20 disseminated an embarrassing impropriety: â€œNow that the Police has (have) taken over the supervision of theâ€¦.â€
â€œâ€¦and ensure it does not reoccur again.â€ (THE GUARDIAN, April 20) â€˜Reoccur againâ€™? Run for cover, my dear reader! Just recur. Recur, recurrence, recurrent. Occur, occurred, occurrence.
â€œLack of incentives anger (angers) local manufacturersâ€ (THE GUARDIAN, April 20)
â€œThey provide temporary relief.â€ (Source: as above) â€˜Temporary relief? I strongly object to that clumsy expression because there is no permanence in â€˜reliefâ€™.
THE PUNCH of April 20 circulated three solecisms: â€œThe patients pay for each act of â€˜healingâ€™ through their noses.â€ Get it right: they pay through the nose.
â€œAt the launching programme (launch) in Abuja.â€¦â€
â€œA cursory look at the figures show (shows) that.â€¦â€
Daily Sun of April 19 circulated copious shibboleths: â€œThe end point is that people wait for between three to five hours to pay in their drafts.â€ English without tears: between three and five.
â€œWith the attainment of the highest office at any strata of governmentâ€¦.â€ Singular: stratum; plural: strata.
â€œIt may be difficult for Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu to resurrect again politically after his disastrous outing in the just-concluded presidential elections.â€ Please, yank off â€˜againâ€™ in the interest of lexical sanity and our democracy.
â€œThey better not rely on INEC.â€ This way: They had better not rely on INEC.
â€œLike (As) we had said at various forums. â€¦â€ (Nigerian Tribune, April 18)
â€œSo, the government cannot ask the Supreme Court to interprete the law.â€ Spell-check: interpret. (Source: as above)
â€œâ€¦the reduction in the number of road accidents and causalities.â€ (Leadership, April 20) This way: casualties.
â€œ…to that extent, we shall congratulate its authors for (on) hearing the deafening cry of Nigerians for an effective legislature.â€ (Nigerian Tribune, April 20)
â€œâ€¦were simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.â€ (DAILY CHAMPION, April 20) â€˜Falloutâ€™ is uncountable.
â€œâ€¦appeal to the discredited tactics of past times also wreak havoc on the procedural sanctity of the democratic path.â€ (Vanguard, April 20) Notes of disquiet: pastime.
â€œOut-of-control trailer crushes 15 persons to deathâ€ When people are crushed by a trailer, they cannot be alive except there is divine intervention. So, â€˜crushed to deathâ€™ smacks of lexical insensitivity. (Daily Trust, April 20)
â€œMy dear distinguish Senator Mark…Indeed, we are celebrating a statesman whose dedication and service to his fatherland is (are) worthy of emulation.â€ On the plateau: My (Our) dear distinguished Senator….
â€œYour unassailable wisdom and sterling qualities have made you stand out as trustworthy and reliable leader.â€ Happy Birthday: a (note the article) trustworthy and reliable leader.
â€œYour ability to work out (answer/do) knotty political puzzles…makes you worth (worthy) of emulation.â€
â€œIndeed, its (itâ€™s) really a pleasure working with you….â€ (From The Senators of the 7th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria)
â€œ…so he could not have seen fire and tell (told) me to put my hand.â€ Alternatively, he cannot see fire and tell me to put my hand.
â€œ…the APGA governorship candidate in Abia State at (in) the April 2011 elections….â€
â€œWhy change your wardrobe every five minutes while all it takes is a different accessories.â€ All it takes are different accessories.