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SATURDAY Expression 

By  Ebere Wabara

WE celebrate you today (a comma) 14th June, 2018 (another comma) on the occasion of your 80th Birthday Anniversary” (Full-page advertorial from the Board, Management and Staff of Metropolitan Motors Limited, Vanguard, June 4) ‘Birthday’ and ‘anniversary’ cannot co-function.

“80 happy cheers to an accomplished entrepreneur” (Source: as above) Are there ‘unhappy cheers? Perhaps, the script writer meant ‘hearty cheers’. Cheerfulness symbolizes happiness.

“…appeal to the discredited tactics of past times also wreaks havoc on the procedural sanctity of the democratic path.” About three weeks ago, I inadvertently corrected ‘past times’ to ‘pastimes’ in my interventions. One of my ardent readers, Baba Ilesha, called my attention to it. The extract was right. I apologize for my fixation—not ignorance.

“…his wife and family members at the funeral mass of (for)                                                                                                                      their father, late (the late)….” (THISDAY Front Page Caption, May 19) Since it was a funeral mass, there was no point adding ‘late’ before the man’s name as fatality had been implied.

“Herdsmen (Herdsmen’s) killings: Enough of condolence visits” (Source: as above)

“AIG orders arrests (arrest) of 3 policemen”

“Fear as kidnappers lay siege on (to) Dandume, Sadume”

“Anambra street traders, hawkers risk two weeks (weeks’) jail”

“We drove into Chief’s house without any incidence.” (THISDAY Back Page Pendulum, May 19) There is a clinical distinction between ‘incidence’ and ‘incident’, which applies here.

From THISDAY to DAILY SUN of May 23: “Halt your second term (second-term) campaign, CAN tells Buhari”

“Over 10,000 protests (protest) in Nsukka, demand end to violence”

“The 12 basic demands of the Trump administration as enunciated by Secretary Pompeo on Monday was (were) proofs of American arrogance.” (Voice of The Nation EDITORIAL, May 23)

“Fayemi suspends campaign to mourn late APC chieftain” (Source: as above) Ekiti Guber (Governorship): Do we mourn the living?

“…tells tales of woes, lives under bridge” (Abuja Metro, May 23) Get it right: tales of woe

“Glo launches all-expenses-paid (all-expense-paid) promo”

“IN appreciation and thanksgiving to God Almighty for a life of accomplishment (accomplishments) we, the members of…do hereby announce the departure to eternal glory of our patriach (sic)….” Glorious exit: why not simply ‘we, the members of…announce…’ and this: patriarch. ‘Do hereby’ is Elizabethan English used in the civil service and judiciary as part of its legalese.

“Eagles (Eagles’) camp bubbles as…arrive (arrive in) Uyo”

“Whistle-blower (Whistle blowing): FG concludes investigation on (into) 534 cases…secures 4 convictions (conviction)” (Page Two Business, DAILY SUN, May 28)

“Naval personnel kills suspected cult leader in Imo” News around the City: ‘personnel’ is a collective noun and cannot be used as extracted. So, depending on the rank of the person involved, it becomes ‘naval rating’ or ‘naval officer’—certainly not ‘personnel’.

“NDLEA arrests father of 2 over (for) cannabis in Edo”

From National News of May 28 comes the next headline blunder: “Campaign against drug abuse, Buhari charges Governors’ Wives (Wives’) Forum”

Daily Sun Editorial of May 28circulated three lapses: “Apart from the NNPC, other revenue generating (revenue-generating) agencies affected by the order include….”

“…said that (sic) the auditing of the agencies has (had) been extended to cover the period from 2015 to 2017….”

“That is one sure way to ensure that the malfeasance does not occur again.” This way: the malfeasance does not recur.

“Pilots raise alarm (the alarm) over landing safety”

“…integrity and humility to governance in Enugu State is an attestation of your sterling qualities as a visionary leader.” 3 years of giant strides: are attestations to your….

“Giant strides in urban and rural development with a (sic) limited resources….”

Daily Sun Editorial of May 30 assaulted the English language half-a-dozen times: “It is, indeed, senseless to attack the court, the sacred temple of justice (another comma) a few months before the 2019 general elections (election).”

“The attack…is an affront on (to) the judiciary.” “The police must make frenetic effort (a frenetic effort or frenetic efforts) to fish out those behind the attack as well as their sponsors.”

“They should be prosecuted and severe punishment meted to (meted out to) those found guilty of the offence.” It would have been tidy if the sentence had ended at ‘guilty’.

Wrong: Christian wake-keeping

Right: Christian wake or just wake

“…I have been to nearly 27 countries in Africa to study their economy (economies).” (Politics & Power, June 4)

“Ekweremadu flags off (launches) water scheme to end scarcity in constituency” (South East News, June 4)

“Truly, Mr. Projects (Projects’) Doctor’s (Doctors’) Quarters, Port Harcourt…

“Over the counter (Over-the-counter) purchase of PTA” (Full-page advertisement by Fidelity Bank PLC)

“Catholic priests protest against killings” (National News, June 6) Yank off ‘against’ because it is otiose.

“…laws that hitherto vested the sole approving authority of mining licences and their regulation on (in) the Federal Government.” (Daily Sun Editorial, June 6)

“…and those of other state governments which anniversary falls on same day (on the same day)”

“Under bridge (Under-bridge) occupants: Abuja’s new threat” (Abuja Metro Banner, June 6)

“2 Anambra communities end over 90 years land dispute” (Oriental News, June 6) For peace to reign: over-90 years’ land dispute

“Nsukka council chair, others pays (sic) last respect” Writing right: last respects

“Rape for food (Rape-for-food): Fireworks over sex allegations against soldiers at IDP camps” (Abuja Metro, June 6)

“9mobile unveils vehicle tracking (vehicle-tracking) solution”

“Osinbajo to intervene in Lagos, luxury bus owners (owners’) face-off”

“APC group sensitises (sensitizes, preferably) members on (to) party’s national convention” (Daily Sun Headline, June 6)