Neck-and-Neck Battle



By Ebere Wabara

WELCOME to a rewarding session. THISDAY faulty headline of December 16 opens the class for us today: “Bouying (Buoying) the economy…”

“Goverment to bring back stranded Nigerians in Libya” (The Guardian Front Page Banner, November 30) Conscience, nurtured by truth: Government. To avoid this kind of embarrassment, ‘FG’ would have done it—even better!

“The unprecedented onslaught against PDP faithfuls and other citizens….” (DAILY SUN, November 23) ‘Faithful’ is uncountable.

“…Chief Justice of  Nigeria…yesterday read a riot act to judicial officers nationwide, threatening to dismiss anyone caught perverting justice.” (THE GUARDIAN, November 22) Fixed expression: read the Riot Act.

“Secondus, PDP plot take over of S/West” Noun: takeover (which applies here); phrasal verb: take over.

“PDP, APC in neck-to-neck battle ahead 2019” Get it right: neck-and-neck battle.

“Tomplo Boys lay siege on Shomolu, Bariga” This way: lay siege to Shomolu, Bariga

“JTF arrests four over (for) illegal bunkering in Warri” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, November 21)

“…Africa’s richest man beseiged” Spell-check: besieged.

Nigerian Tribune of November 23 did not confirm its self-adulation: “Under him, the body which comprised of eight countries grew to become 49.” The pride of Lagos-Ibadan press: expunge ‘of’ from the extract.

“It seems the bickering between the two unions is deepening.” (DAILY TRUST, November 23) We can conveniently do without ‘two’ in this excerpt because of its irrelevance.

“They are little aware that our great men of yesteryears were able to achieve.…” (Leadership, December 18) What has happened to the reputation of excellence? ‘Yesteryear’, just like ‘heyday’, is uncountable.

”Bandits kill two police, injure three others in Lagos” One of these: policemen, police officers, constables or cops; not just police.

Vanguard of November 23 bungled two expressions: “They would rather kill themselves over who is superior….” Friends of the Niger Delta: They would rather kill one another.  It is not yet a suicidal stuff.

“But the governor has stuck to his gun, insisting that his action is perfectly constitutional.” (THISDAY, November 23) Stuck to his guns (not gun)

“Well, dear honourables….” (Source: as above) Get it right: dear honourable members or dear lawmakers (legislators). ‘Honourables’ is Nigerian English.

“Delegates in free for all fight” (Sunday Vanguard, December 17) Towards a better weekly: free-for-all (take note of the hyphenation and the elimination of ‘fight’ which is otiose).

“The faithful performed creditably well….” (THE NATION, December 19) No lip-service (not eye-service, as most Nigerians misinform): yank off ‘well’ because of its redundancy here. So, the faithful performed creditably.

“Why would the christians (Christians, please) distrupt a sober act of paying tribute?” (Daily Trust, December 19) Spell-check: disrupt.

Nigerian Tribune of December 19 raised two questions: ”…it is one agitation or the other (another: several agitations) against the present status quo” ‘Present status quo’ leaves a sour taste.

“That a man charged for (with) mother (sic) of all crimes set free without due process.” (National Outlook, December 19)

“The role played by people like…are (is) subject to thorough investigation.” (Business World, December 18)

“The police is (are) on red alert.” (DAILY SUN, November 23) Always recollect that they (policemen) are not your friends and that bail is not free, contrary to what the authorities declare!

“But there he was, Donald Trump, the most powerful head of government in the world, has (had) to sweat it out before lawyers that he appointed.” (Daily Independent, December 19)

“…we are being asked to bring our plates and we shall be duely (duly) served.” (Nigerian Tribune, November 23)

“Libyan rebellion ignore (sic) peace offers” (THE PUNCH, November 23) No senility: Libyan rebels….”

“Essentially, those who spoke against it did so in (on) three main grounds” (THE GUARDIAN, November 23)

‘WAEC disturbed over education standard” (Nigerian Tribune, November 23) Nigeria’s most informative newspaper: educational standard.

“Influx of obsolete equipment worry (worries) radiographers” (THE GUARDIAN, November 23)

Please, note that ‘reopen’ does not admit hyphenation (re-open).

“It is the duty of the police to conduct investigations into the sort of killings that wasted some of its (their) men in Jos, the troubled capital of Plateau State, and fish out the culprits.” (THE GUARDIAN, November 23)

“Since AIDS run (runs) a long course atimes (at times) up to 5-10 years before it kills its victim….” (DAILY TRUST, November 23)

“Seeing this non-challant attitude as a reflection of a people lacking in unity and cohesion….” Spell-check: nonchalant.

“…others who thought they were immuned to injustice were arrested.” No round-up: just immune.

”At the outskirts of the town, a large signpost….” Get it right: on the outskirts.

“…the instruments of instruction and education of the policy have been entrenched within the polity.” The road to Aso Rock: entrench in (not within).

“Within the last decade, the Mugabe government had been involved in series (a series) of political and financial scandals.”

“Since he was voted out of office in 1980, Mr. Carter had visited Nigeria several times, usually in pursuit of one humanitarian mission or the other.” Certainly, the man had pursued several missions on these shores.  So, the proper context should be: one humanitarian mission or another (multiple). The excerpt has just a dual function, which is wrong.

“At the start, when the politicians were told to form political associations, all manners of associations, with different ideological orientations and tendencies, sprouted like mushrooms.” Stock expression: all manner of associations.