Accident, not ‘Accidented’, Cars


Media Gaffes

With Ebere Wabara

“NSIA invests N100bn on (in) 3 priority projects” (PAGE 2 BUSINESS, June 17)

“When the cost of producing a product is far more than the cost of selling same (the same), then that is bad (a bad) business model.” (THE BUSINESS REPORT, June 17)

“70% import duty: How over aged (over-age), accidented (accident) vehicles limit Customs (Customs’) revenue target” Get it right: ‘accident’ + noun (vehicle) = accident vehicle—not “accidented”!

“Air France launches environment friendly (environment-friendly) policies on board aircraft”  (Source: as above)

“Why airlines must report serious incidences (incidents) for investigation”

“Suspected separatist bomb kills 4 Cameroon (Cameroonian) policemen” (International News, June 17)

“Israel (Israeli) PM names community in contested frontier zone after Trump”

“Libya (Libyan) PM rules out talks with rival war lord to end war”

Wrong: a small accident; right: a minor accident

DAILY SUN Opinion Headline of June 12 continues the race for good grammar: “Ibadan-Ife Expressway and a rollercoaster (roller coaster) weekend”

“Anambra traders sue govt over (for) alleged imposition” (SOUTH EAST NEWS, June 12)

“AFCON 2019: Eagles (Eagles’) squad worth N78bn”

“ISWAP had, in the last three days, laid siege on (to) parts of Borno State, killing scores of soldiers.”

“…your commitment to strengthen (strengthening) the CITN in the last one and a half decade….” (Full-page congratulatory advert by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, THISDAY, June 15) Integrity & Service: one-and-a-half decades.

“…the AFCON bound (AFCON-bound) defender has joined Serie A side, Torino (another comma) on a permanent deal.”

“An extraordinary person like you deserve (deserves) a birthday much better (just ‘better’) than the last one combined….” (THISDAY, June 15)

“24 bag first class (first-class) degrees as FUDMA graduates 430 students”

“Nigeria slides down three spots in FIFA ranking” Simply slides 3 spots—do teams slide up?

 “As part of efforts to ensure that its new cash withdrawal policy succeeds, the CBN said it is (was)….” (THISDAY, June 6)

“LBS alumni hosts…” (Vanguard Headline, June 6) My alumni association hosts or our alumni host…No mix-up.

“A peasant farmer in Ogbomoso…has founded two police AK-47 rifles hidden in green leaves on (at) his farm.” (THE NATION NEWS, June 5) These juvenile blunders were found (not founded, please o!) by an anonymous reader via cell phone number 08033154530. More contributions from other readers are welcome.  

A commuter to a bus driver on Victoria Island: “Can I drop” (before the bus-stop)? Driver: “No! Vicious LASTMA officials are lurking (about)!” You alight (not drop) from a vehicle. But, you can be dropped (off).

Overheard: “I don’t want to be insultive….” (The Beat 99 FM, Lagos, June 5 Morning Belt) Rudeness is an insulting (not insultive) behaviour!

“Bombing out beer parlours” A public drinking-place is called a pub. There are other variants where alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks may be bought and drunk among other utilities: inn, tavern, saloon bar, lounge and public bar. There is nothing known as “beer parlour” outside Nigerian shores! You can call it our own Native English in its parlous condition. 

“Beware, gift items could be ladened (sic) with bombs—Army chief” (Vanguard Headline, June 3) Even at first sight, thoughtlessly, something points out this etymological buffoonery! Newspapers and magazines these days are pitiably laden with inexcusable lexical and structural lapses. 

“EFCC arrests director over land deal” (DAILY SUN Headline, June 9) Once more, ‘arrest’ takes ‘for’—never the much-abused ‘over’.

“FRSC begins special patrol to reduce road crashes” (BUSINESSDAY Headline, June 29) Except in a state of war or social infrastructural decay, roads do not crash. The special patrol is to reduce accidental/vehicular crashes. No lexical commotion, please.

“Armed bandits kill two cops in Yola, pick 2 AK-47 rifles” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Headline, June 9) News: Who’s a bandit? Or: Can there be banditry without arms? A bandit, according to OXFORD Advanced Learner’s DICTIONARY, is a member of an ARMED (emphasis mine) gang that robs people. Therefore, there can’t be banditry without arms. Let us be circumspect in collocation and do away with sterile applications and reference books. As a testimony to this assertive advisory, THE NEW LEXICON WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, astonishingly, declares that a “bandit is a robber, especially one of a group roving in uninhabited districts.” This, obviously, contradicts language currency, emotional and environmental factors associated with word usage. It is imperative to nurture a critical mind in communication to foreclose simulation and travesty.

 “For the inauguration (inaugural) art exhibition, there was no man-know-man connection” This is sheer illiteracy! What is ‘man-know-man connection’? Do you mean god-father, stooge, or crony connection? Certainly, not the excerpt!

“Nigeria’s economy may overtake South Africa by 2025” Business & Finance: either South Africa’s (preferably) or South Africa’s economy (verbosity).

“Panasonic brace-up for market challenges” (THISDAY Banner, June 9) Again, phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.

“…our eating and living habits can predispose our systems for (to) such diseases as….”

“2 vigilante men roasted” First: vigilance men; second: the men were burnt, not roasted! For goodness’ sake, we are talking of human beings—not consumables or objects!

“During his visit to the troubled spots…..” The shades of violence: trouble spots, but troubled waters. That is the beauty of the English language.

“…that is a prerequisite for development in (on) the continent.”

 “This is tragic and a degradation of human specie (species).”

“Staff of the Federal Ministry of Education and its parastatals in Lagos has (have) been told they have till next weekend to present their papers.” 

“As he spoke to the admiration of the labour leaders and journalists at (on) the occasion….”

“The stories, in the opinion of the trial judge, was (why this recurring discord?) considered embarrassing to the government.”

“Journalism schools should include courses on shedding crocodile tears to (in) their curricula.”

“The police has an image problem, too.”  Bound to correction: The police have….

“I have persistently advocated, without much success, the need to align policy making to (with) crime control….”

“But if the House Ethics Committee fails to sanitize affairs, then we would be setting a dangerous precedence contrary to the Dimeji Bankole example.” Not yet: a dangerous precedent.

“Additionally, signals suggest that a lot of work still need (needs) to be done to get us on the democratic superhighway.”

“The purchasing power in the hands of consumers have (has) been going down; it means that demand for goods and services are (is) reducing.” 

“…the executive cannot acquiesce to a patently wrong situation in demur in a similar situation.” The legislature we deserve: acquiesce in (not to).

“It was later gathered that the mayhem was as a result of conflict (a conflict or conflicts) between two cult groups”. My viewpoint: delete ‘two’ (which is implied) to avoid headaches. The late Bayo Oguntunase insisted that ‘between two, three or more’ was acceptable now, unlike before. The choice is yours, my dear reader!