Writers’ Freudian Slips


YOU are welcome to this edition: “His followers…have not relented in demanding for his unconditional release.” (SUNDAY Sun Editorial, November 11) Delete ‘for’ because of its redundancy here.

“Presidents of Guinea, Togo…are expected at (on) the occasion.” (National News, November 14)

“Renowned Nigerian industrialist, business mogul and publisher of the defunct Post Express Newspapers (The Post Express Newspapers), Chief Sonny Iwedike Odogwu, has passed on.” (DAILY Sun Editorial, November 14)

“Trump lashes (lashes out at) Macron as Europe moves on defense (defence) without US” (International News, November 14)

“Others just ridiculed me outrightly.”  A protester at the American embassy: Others just ridiculed me outright.

“NCP raises alarm over alleged harrasments of market women” Across the nation: harassment.  Also note that ‘harassment’ is uncountable, unlike ‘embarrassment’. And this: raise the alarm

“…but the incidence rather than subdue you, (sic) should instead spur you to greater hights (heights).” The human angle: incident (not incidence). ‘Instead’ has no function here.

“Gather every members of your family.”  Either every member of your family or all members….

My dear reader, please note that ‘banter’ is uncountable.

“…the chilling story of Calabar’s rival gang members who not only slaughter themselves (one another) but.…”

“Eagles confront Malawians under scorching sun” This way: in (not under) the scorching sun.

‘”In times past, the media might even have queried the double standards.” Professionalism: double standard.

“We maintain that like every other institutions established by law….” Already addressed

“Customs intensify air border patrol” No news: Customs (Nigerian Customs Service) intensifies…

“PHCN has (had) earlier indicated that progress made towards stabilizing power supply has been reversed.”

“Idris who was on a one-day working visit to Kano to round up (off) his familiarization tour of police formations in the country.…”  I can understand the mix-up because of IGP’s involvement!

“…that effort at sensitizing Nigerians on (to) the essence of the Vision 20-2020 is well in an advanced stage.” What is the definition of the cliché ‘advanced stage’? Any form of public communication—gestural, written or verbal—that is subject to individualistic interpretations is not efficient and effective.

“NPA beefs-up (beefs up) security at port…”

 “ACF urges Boko Haram to sheath swords” Truth is a burden: sheathe swords.

“New car owners stranded over plate numbers” Aso Chronicle: number plates

“New Year bomb victim dissatisfied over (with) treatment abroad”

“UNAD staff arrested over (for) missing N100m”

“Heartland, Enyimba reignites rivalry” Midweek Sports: why the discord?

“Muslims in all continents of the world would today celebrate Id el Mauloud.” My comment: on all continents.

“…at (in) the nick of time to provide him a white ram that was slaughtered as replacement (a replacement) of (for) his son, Ismael (Ismail/Ishmael)”

“It is hoped that those engaging in acts inimical of (to) the nation’s corporate progress….”

“We seize today’s occasion of….” For Americanism and all its informalities, this is acceptable. But, in formal (standard) British entry—which I strongly advocate—you take or use an occasion/opportunity. ‘Seize’ has an inherent, elemental force (connotatively and denotatively), imperativeness of sociolinguistics, as Robert Obioha of Sun Editorial Board will insist, notwithstanding.

“Entrepreneurs team-up (team up) with Rivers on investment” 

“…the intrigues has (have) just begun.”

“Each passing day I pray that the lord will wipe my tears, heal the wound and the pains that your sudden departure have (has) left in my heart.”

“I still thank God because I believe that you are resting peacefully in His bossom (bosom).” And this, by the way: in God’s bosom, peace is integral and guaranteed. My condolences, the avoidable slips notwithstanding

“We are however rest assured that you are been (being) taken care of and that one day, we will meet to part no more.”  

“…many Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions over (to) this development.”

“The herbalist allegedly demanded for his wife’s eyeball….” Delete ‘for’ in pursuit of lexical excellence.

“…who is currently representing Epe Federal Constituency in the National Assembly….” Who can tell me what ‘currently’ is doing here?

“OGBC begins 24hours (sic) broadcast” Get it right: 24 hours’ broadcast/24-hour broadcast

“Nigerian women are not mediocre” Our women are not mediocrities or mediocrists. Put differently, Nigerian women are not mediocre people (adjectival parlance).

“Nigeria’s First Lady and wife of the president….” Obviously, ‘Nigeria’s First Lady’ or ‘the president’s wife’ is enough—not both at the same time! (This observation was contributed by Lucky Ihanza) 

“Several (Many, preferably) innocent Nigerians have been killed by uniform (uniformed) men at checkpoints for failure to give bribe (bribes).”

“He got the woman’s phone number and texted (messaged) her N500 phone (recharge) credit.” 

“…until such a time his adversary is able to proof (prove) to the court that he is not the rightful king.” 

“Police contributes (contribute) to sexual violence in Nigeria, says Olufemi” 

 “I doff my hat for the resilience of those who staked their necks to confront the excesses of the military.” Dogma at the barricades: I doff my hat to (not for) newspaper contributors, the occasional Freudian slips notwithstanding. You can also take off your hat….

“…the seeming connivance of the judiciary with those intent in (on/upon) protecting the criminals in our midst.”

“The suspects are walking free in the society, enjoying their loots and attracting more political patronages.” ‘Loot’ is uncountable.

“…in the guise of delivering same (the same) as bribe to the Commission’s officers to ‘kill’ such cases under investigation.” ‘Same’, in formal—and even most informal—contexts, cannot stand alone.

“The highest value of university education is not just about imparting knowledge on (to) individuals….”

“Nigeria loses N533bn to sugar importation” A rewrite: Nigeria spends N533b on sugar import  

“…which also congratulated the Sierra-Leonean (sic) people for (on/upon) the peaceful conduct of their election and pledged support for their democratic process.”

“The United Nations, which had borne much of the burden of restoring peace in (to) the country….”

“The re-elected president should eschew witch-hunting (witch-hunt) of the opposition….”

More mistakes from THE GUARDIAN of November 21: “They have proved themselves as medical professionals per (par) excellence 

“For more details (a comma) go to…or call the Guinness toll free (toll-free) line on….” Can’t this full-page running copy be corrected?

“…the labour leaders have decided to bury their hatchets and come together again….” Fixed expression (irrespective of number): bury the hatchet.

“Remarkably (Remarkable) as well, (needless comma) was the huge success recorded of (in) this year’s Comptroller General’s Annual Conference just concluded in Kastina (sic).”

Finally from the Back Page of The Guardian under review: “Do we have to wait till someone effect (effects) a change?”

“Today, President Buhari sits on (in) the saddle of governance.”

“Israel moves to diffuse (defuse) tension with Egypt”

“The objective was attained quite alright.” ‘Alright’ is not all right in formal environments.

“The Zikists are his political offsprings and despite all the betrayals we have witnessed of recent….’ ‘Offspring’ is non-count.

 “When the storm rages, men can do nothing about it, but when it has seized (ceased), its destruction could be addressed.”

“Students write exams half-naked.” It is a lie! They write exams half-dressed/half-clad/half-clothed/half-covered or naked/bare to the waist.

“I stood up, took another naira note and put it near my half-empty (half-full) beer glass.” 

“The classroom was filled to capacity (filled) as early as….”

“How did you fair (fare) in your examination?”

“The feeling is that many don’t want to be seen as taking a position which would be interpreted as confrontational and as such they have resulted (resorted) to lobbying….”

“Do not pass the bulk (buck) to anyone….”

“CBN explained that it was not the first time that banks would be liquidated and that the history of bank failure in the country dated (dates) back to 1958 or 1959.” There is also ‘dates back from.’