Solecisms Galore



By Ebere Wabara

THE first set of solecisms this week comes from LEADERSHIP of July 6, 2018, beginning from its front page: “…said that the bank’s fundamentals remain (remained) strong and virile….”

“BBOG commends Buhari over (for) breaking fast with IDPs”

“Didi’s parents was (sic) said to have flown in from Jos.” This is certainly not the way to be ‘Nigeria’s most influential newspaper’!

Final entry from LEADERSHIP:  “FG should identify grassroot (grassroots) farmers to achieve agenda”

“The sensational development surprised observers of British politics amidst (amid) erstwhile speculations that flamboyant….” ‘Amidst’, just like ‘amongst’ (among) and ‘whilst’ (while), is Elizabethan English!

“NUJ raises alarm on destitute high mobility in Rivers” (The Niche, July 29) Soul of the nation: raise the alarm

“The average life span of a dog is between 10 to (and) 14 years.” (Source: as above)

“BATNF’s agricultural interventions boost rural farmers (farmers’) revenues” For headline purposes: agric interventions

Wrong: re-open; right: reopen

“Sirika and the potentials (potential or potentialities) of Nigeria’s aviation sector”

“Five (5) days (days’) intensive classroom training that will commence after the online session….”

From Diamond Bank PLC comes the next goof: “A world of stress free (stress-free) transactions” (Noticed at its Aguda, Surulere, Lagos branch…yesterday and most likely in other outlets nationwide)

“The Management and Staff of KSLEY Mega Vision Ltd., a subsidiary of KSLEY Group of Companies congratulate the Chairman and CEO…over (on/upon) the successful opening the (of the) bank in Enugu.”

“For instance, there are number (a number) of landed (properties) that are on rent.” ‘Property’, in this context, is countable.

The Management of Airtel, the smartphone (smart-phone) network, announced the next three juvenile infractions: “…designed to empower customers in respect to (of) the management of all unsolicited messages sent to their phones.” Alternatively, with respect to….

“While there are customers that (who) demand promotional services to keep abreast with (of) various innovative products and services….”  

“Bauchi teachers protest over (against/at/about) non-payment of several months (months’) salaries”

“Ogun River: Thousands turn Karo to tourists’ site” Voice of The Nation: tourist site

“The President inspecting guard (a guard) of honour at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, yesterday”

Wrong: assasin; right: assassin

“Today’s primaries very crucial to the PDP in its quest to regain the reins of government….” Please delete ‘of government’ Note well: ‘take/hand over the reins’ means to take or give someone control over an organization or country. (Longman Advanced Dictionary of Contemporary English)

“Shell forecloses plans to exit Nigeria (Nigerian) operations”

“Enjoy bespoke everyday banking services and exclusive priviledges (privileges) for the….”

“Peter Obi paid salaries of civil servants as and when due.” Just this: servants when due

“Those in government spent a lot of money on things that are (were) unnecessary….” And this: much (not a lot of) money

Still on THISDAY: “My grass to grace (grass-to-grace) story”

“Why my company is call (called) ‘Slot’”

“Nigeria (Nigerian) unity: Myth, hypocrisy and redemption”

“Singapore jails senior civil servants over (for) corruption” “ANA postponements (sic) (postpones) August reading”

“Peugeot plans to inject $7.26b on (into) research, development”

“South African Airways celebrates 80 years (years’ or 80th year) anniversary”

“LASU Management re-opens (reopens) the university”

“You lived well and you have gone to (preferably for) a well deserved (well-deserved) rest. Rest in perfect peace” Except for graveyard peace, ‘peace’ is an absolute and does not need inflection, intensification or adumbration. So, rest in peace (R.I.P—not R.I.P.P)!

Finally from the Back Page of THE GUARDIAN under review: “One has witnessed at different occasions dissenting opinions of doctors as regards prescriptions for patient’s (a patient’s) ailment.” The Guardian youth speak: on different occasions.

Next is DAILY TRUST of July 11: “Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar spoke at his palace in Sokoto….” Does the Sultan of Sokoto have another palace elsewhere? Let us think as we report.

“ plans listing in (on) capital market”

“Pact with China conducive for peace, says Taiwan (Taiwan’s or Taiwanese) president”

“Otherwise, there is no point we engage in importing that much on yearly (a yearly) basis.”

“…he said though the institute has (had) developed 62 rice varieties for farmers, five most prominent varieties are (were) in circulation and are (were) doing very good (well).”

“NEMA, stakeholders meets over displaced persons” You can readily identify the boyish slip-up.

“With the LG polls now fixed for next week Tuesday….” Either next Tuesday or Tuesday, next week. Lastly from DAILY TRUST: “Replicate your performance to (in) your constituents (constituencies)”

“Security at airports: Police deploys (sic) sniffer dogs at (in) Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, 5 others” (AIT News)

From DAILY TRUST we move to THISDAY of July 12: “Absence of interpreter stalls trial of Portuguese woman charged for (with) drug trafficking”

“Thumb (Thumbs) up for Nigerian refs in Mali”

“Obasanjo : Amaechi’s k-leg (knocked leg) has been straightened”

The following five solecisms are from DAILY INDEPENDENT of July 12: “DHQ assures of continued offensive” Who did it assure?

“Battle for soul of Ecobank intensifies” So the battle intensifies itself?

“Tackling voters apathy in Nigeria” This way: voter apathy

SATURDAY INDEPENDENT of July 28 disseminated all manner of school-boy mistakes right from the front page: “Fear has grip (gripped) notable politicians in Ebonyi State following findings by….” Most of the ensuing blunders were caused by sheer carelessness and loose thinking as the computer system has an in-built mechanism that detects most of the spelling errors contained herein.

“The discovery was made when the SSS arrested some kidnappers in the state alleged to be the brain (brains) behind high profile (high-profile) kidnapping in the state.”

“The SSS in the state said on Friday that it has (had) arrested….”

“…motorists were made to watch a bizzare (bizarre) spectacle, (needless comma) as four policemen beat a man gave (who gave) his name as…to a state of stupour (stupor).”

“The policemen, who drove to the scene in a patrol van with registration number KJA 284 AX, threw caution the winds (sic) (threw caution to the winds).”

“Federal University Lafia, (otiose punctuation) matriculates 380 students” Would it have matriculated traders? Just yank off the last word in the extract!

“Community sends SOS to Amosun, Ambode over harrassment” Spell-check: harassment, but embarrassment.

“When Fayemi’s wife rescued woman abandoned with tripplet (triplet)”

“Adewale Ayuba is one musician (music/musical) act who has been around for years. “

“My husband usually ask (asks) me to abort my pregnancy, woman tells court”

Finally from SATURDAY INDEPENDENT, a voice of your own: “Movie directors threaten sanction on (against) actress”

“They buy at N159 and sell at N167, the CBN has (had) addressed last year when….”

“But what the banks decided to do is (was) to even stop selling.”

“Middle aged (Middle-aged) man commits suicide in Jos…Police tries (try) to uncover his identity” “IITA creates 40,000 jobs under cassava to ethanol (cassava-to-ethanol) project”

“Edo: Court remands killer cop (killer-cop)…”

“CBN said money is (was) missing from federation (the federation) account.”