Yesteryear, Heyday Non-count

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MEDIA GAFFES

With Ebere wabara; ewabara@yahoo.com, 08055001948

“MUSIC stars of yesteryears” ‘Yesteryear’, just like ‘heyday’, is uncountable.

“The privileged invitees, who showed up to rejoice with this well-connected individual….” Social scene: privileged guests (not invitees), which is a warped Nigerian creation.

“Police arrest 51 over post-election violence” Replace ‘over’ with ‘for’

“Two cousins killed in Ondo road crash as mob burns car” Just ‘vehicular’—not road—crash?

“It is antithetical to democracy for the minority to have its say and wants to have its way.” (Source: as above) The minority cannot have their (not its) say.

“…to that extent shall we congratulate its authors for (on) hearing the deafening cry of Nigerians for an affective legislature.”

“…were simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.”  ‘Fallout’ is uncountable

“AU has always been a helpless on-looker as other do-gooders from Europe and America flock to these troubled (trouble) spots with relief materials.…”

“The reduction in the number of road accidents and casualities….”  This way: casualties.

“Why fight, especially since we all are groping in the dark.”  A poser: can we grope where there is light? So, why not just groping?

“FG sets to fill vacancies in Civil Service” Get it right: FG set to…No loose thinking!

“…ask questions or demand for their credentials.” Delete ‘for’ from the extract.

“…never mind that ‘saboteurs’ have since done their worst by returning Nigeria back to darkness.” Yank off ‘back’ in the interest of morphological sanity.

The Ijaws, Urhobos, the Itsekiris, the Ilajes are killing each other (one another).”

“Buhari is back on (in) the saddle of the country’s leadership”

“The readiness of the President and his vice to acquiesce to (in) Senate’s decision.…”

“The time when one ethnic group and the multi-ethnic political prostitutes and the favoured can walk roughshod over the rest of the country have (has) gone forever.”

“Security reports indicated that the strategy of vicious robbery operations are (is) hatched at the chambers of hotels.”

“Specifically, the crisis in the community bothers (borders) on the refusal of majority (a majority) of the people….”

“Ethical status of PCN worry (worries) pharmacists”

“The committee has since submitted its report, while the public awaits the government’s white paper on it.”  Education: simply the white paper.

“As a result (a comma) Nigeria’s role in (on) the continent has been a critical one.”

“Instead we saw belated efforts when the chicken has (had) come home to roost.”

“Someday when the history of Nigeria, with regards (regard) to its bureaucracy….”

“Dignitaries at (on) the occasion included….”

“UNILAG alumni meets” Our alumni meet monthly or the alumni association meets monthly.  No mix-up.

“They hardly acknowledged each other’s presence, talkless of (let alone) engaging in courteous exchanges.”

“State, council relationship: Chairmen pick hole (holes) in 1999 constitution”

“For that, you need an experienced sailor, not an oars man with an ‘L’ plate number.” From the master: number-plate

“So we now gathered in my house at (on) Victoria Island….”

“Western delegates have stabbed us at (in) the back.”

“You better (had better) come to Jos, Plateau State”

“Most observers are agreed that the national question has become more aggravated under the present regime.  ‘More aggravated’ sounds illiterate. ‘Aggravation’ means to make worse.

“That calm has returned to the troubled spot is superficial…” When the bell tolls: trouble spot. “The tendency in most of the analysis is…” Singular, analysis, plural: analyses.

‘…the combatants are expected to sheath their swords and fall into line.” Noun: sheath; verb: sheathe.

“They equally advocated for a national conference….” Delete ‘for’ in the interest of lexical orderliness.

“Unions, others commend FG over payment of NITEL workers’ entitlements” ‘Commend’ takes ‘for’ (not ‘over’).

“Polls: Plateau police assures of readiness” Two dimensions: the word, ‘police’, admits only plural verbs. ‘Assure’ must function with ‘somebody’ or ‘oneself’. So, Plateau police assure residents of readiness.

Wrong: “Give me meat”; Right: (Give me some meat)

Wrong: “Your son has been there since”’; Right: (Your son has been there for some time).

Wrong: “You know Chidi now”; Right: You should know Chidi.

Wrong: “Adanma, wait now for Chibuike”; Right: Adanma, please wait for Chibuike.

Let us continue with a visit to Champion House, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos: “Soldiers take over troubled spots” Let peace reign: trouble spots.

“Post election violence spreads” Towards a better life for the people: Post-election violence….

“Post poll violence continues” Solution: as above. Somebody should inform editors at Kirikiri Canal of this recurring lapse.

“Man killed in car accident” Why not ’’Man dies in car accident?’’ He was not killed!

“Nigerian loses his life (dies) in a ghastly auto crash in Greece.”  It was a fatal (not ghastly) accident.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, expressed sadness over the sporadic violent protest (protests)….”

The next headline blunder is from last week’s edition of this medium: “Police arrest four over Maiduguri explosion” Do we arrest the entire editorial team for (not over) lexical recklessness?

“Bribery enthrones mediocrity and crucify merit.” (Source: as above) The Tabernacle of bribery crucifies merit.

“Gang up against Buhari will fail” Phrasal verb: gang up; noun: gang-up (which applies here).

“We were treated to another similar incidence.…” All newspapers should know the difference between ‘incidence’ and ‘incident’ (which is the correct etymology here).

“Although the governor’s last minute romance with the main opposition party is held against him.…” Saturday People: last-minute (take note of the hyphen) romance….

“Thus, a core investor…with regards to optimal use of the machinery.…” Either: as regards or with regard to….

“In the heydays of the goggled General when fuel was often unavailable.…” Stranglehold of oil workers: heyday (uncountable).

“Last year, many houses of the Igbo in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos, were razed down.…” No word abuse: simply razed (not razed down). Discard the contrary views by some registers!

Yet another headline gaffe: “Restrictions on inter-bank foreign exchange trading is (are) killing the market.”

“Armed robbers now have good company—street thugs and unofficial vigilante groups.” Democracy as a disincentive: vigilance groups.

“2015: PDP points accusing fingers at INEC….” Parties in the news: PDP points the finger. No obtuse addition.

“Nigeria is at a crossroad” Fixed expression: at a/the crossroads.

“Stationeries badly needed by.…” ‘Stationery’ is non-count.

“But what appears criminal is the desire of these off-springs of.…” ‘Offspring’ does not take any inflection.

”…the process of economic integration from which will emerge an economic block (bloc).…”

“There is a tussle going on between these two (would it have been three?) arms of government.”

“Nigerian leaders and politicians have continued to adopt and acquiesce to (in).…”

“Globacom sets (set) to rule domestic market”

“I have been briefed that the wrangling among the leaders of PDP are (is) over.”

“Now that the Police has (have) taken over the supervision of the….”

“…and ensure it does not reoccur again.” ‘Reoccur again’? Run for cover, my dear reader! Just recur. Recur, recurrence, recurrent. Occur, occurred, occurrence.

“Lack of incentives anger (angers) local manufacturers”

“They provide temporary relief. ‘Temporary relief? I strongly object to that clumsy expression because there is no permanence in ‘relief’.

“The patients pay for each act of ‘healing’ through their noses.” Get it right: they pay through the nose.

“At the launching programme (launch) in Abuja.…”

“A cursory look at the figures show (shows) that.…”

“The end point is that people wait for between three to five hours to pay in their drafts.” English without tears: between three and five.

“With the attainment of the highest office at any strata of government….” Singular: stratum; plural: strata/stratums.

“It may be difficult for Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu to resurrect again politically after his disastrous outing in the presidential elections.”  Please, yank off ‘again’ in the interest of our democracy.

“They better not rely on INEC.”  This way: They had better not rely on INEC.

“Like (As) we had said at various forums….”

“So, the government cannot ask the Supreme Court to interprete the law.” Spell-check: interpret

“…were simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.” ‘Fallout’ is uncountable.

“Out-of-control trailer crushes 15 persons to death” When people are crushed by a trailer, they cannot be alive except there is divine intervention.  So, ‘crushed to death’ smacks of lexical insensitivity.