‘Arraign in Court’ Incorrect 

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EXPRESSION

By EBERE WABARA

YOU are welcome to our language clinic: “Senator to be arraigned in court over certificate” (DAILY Sun Front Page Sub-headline, May 7, 2019) Where else would he have been arraigned if not court? Okija Shrine?

The next two contributions are from Sonde Abbah, Abuja (08032159249): “105 graduates (graduate) from BUK”

“NAPPS call (calls) for review…”

From THISDAY Front Page of July 13 comes this: “Obaseki, who spoke through his Deputy (deputy), Philip Shaibu….” A rewrite: Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who spoke on behalf of Obaseki…. Nobody speaks through anyone, please gentlemen.

“Nigeria needs officials like Runsewe, says Oba of Benin” (THISDAY POLITY, July 13) Get it right: Nigeria needs official like Runsewe or officials like Runsewe, Wabara….

“How Super Eagles watched Algeria emerged (emerge) as next foe on TV” (THISDAY SPORTS XTRA, July 13) This is the worst collocation so far this month!

“El=Rufai swears-in (swears in) commissioners, warns against non-performance” Phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation.   

“The testimony of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former CSO to late General Sani Abacha….” A fox and his bagful of yarns: former CSO to the late General Sani Abacha

“The corporation said it is (was) determined to protect depositors by all means.” (THISDAY, July 18)

“Food crop production has declined rapidly and this is largely attributable to soil despoilation….” Frequent oil spills in the Niger Delta axis: despoliation.  

“Money speaks, we will interprete” Spell-check: interpret.

“He said the taking over of these banks by AMCON will (would) not….” (Source: as above) Yet another Business English (commercialese) “The boys who were to kill us started fighting themselves” (Nigerian Tribune, July 14) This way: The boys fought one another (not themselves). Except, of course, they were on a suicide mission!

“English Premiership kicks-off in grand style August 9” (THE GUARDIAN Back Page Headline, July 13) This is incongruent with flagship journalism: inclusion of hyphens in phrasal verbs!

“Banks nationalization: Accusing fingers point at regulators” (SATURDAY TRIBUNE Feature Banner, July 13) A rewrite: Banks’ (take note of the apostrophe) nationalization: The finger points at regulators

“Adanma who is based in the United States and works as a medical personnel….” (Source: as above) ‘Personnel’ is a collective noun and cannot function as used. Get it right: a medical official, employee, worker, service provider, assistant, hand… 

“President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that forceful takeover of power through coup d’etats will no longer be tolerated….” Conscience, nurtured by truth: coups d’ etat

“Orji Kalu mourns late Hausa leader” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, July 12) The senator could not have mourned someone who was alive! Therefore, he mourns Hausa leader.

“Veteran golfers converge at Ikeja club” (Source: as above) Let us go golfing as we converge on Ikeja Club.

“…maintained that Nnamdi was hale and healthy in a far away London hospital.” (THE GUARDIAN, July 11) For the recuperation of Ogbuefi: hale and hearty

“She argued that a pact such as is being advocated for by the lawmakers amounted to Nigeria’s re-orientation.” Remove ‘for’.

“I searched in vain for the Ministry of Defence and, unless the text I had was defective, it was conspicuously absent.” ‘Absence’ does not require any qualification.  Simply, it was absent.

“His Excellency…Ambassador Extraordinary (Extraordinaire) and Plenipotentiary….”

“In fact, the situation has degenerated from that of epileptic power supply down to that of complete blackout which in most cases lasts from weeks to months.” ‘Blackout’ does not need any modifier—it means total extinction or concealment of lights. 

“The reasons range from power generation limitation to the use of overaged (overage), antiquated and arsenic hydro-terminal plants and so many others too numerous to mention.” Agreed that ‘overage’ means ‘too old’ (used mostly for human beings), but for contextualization and language grasp, ‘obsolete’ (for inanimate things) should have been it.

“Many people have lost their household properties as a result of uncontrolled power voltage.” Time to remove the immunity of PHCN: property (not properties) in this context.

“The consensus of opinion in the country today.…”  Despite the pockets of debate on what some learner’s dictionaries say, I insist on consensus (without opinion, which is optional anyway).

“It is also an open secret that a cabal of highly placed sacred cows holds the fuel distribution process in the country to ransome.“ Spell-check: ransom.

“Council chairmen and legislators at the council, state and federal levels would also later be sworn-in (sworn in) for the take off (take-off) of the Fourth Republic.” Again, phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.

“The Yorubas, Igbos and even Northern minorities have grudges….” English is no politics: the Yoruba, the Igbo and the Northern minorities.

“Except round pegs are put in round holes, the nation will be the looser (loser) for it.”

“It is arguable if the current spate of advancement (advancements) recorded in the area of….”

“Thank God he is concerned at (about/for/over/in—depending on context—never at) the security situation.”

“There were other ministers in the last dispensation who performed creditably well, but who were not re-appointed.” Get it right: ministers who performed creditably or well. ‘Creditably well’ is an over-kill. Both cannot co-function.

“Thus, a core investor…with regards to optimal use of the machinery.…”  (THE GUARDIAN, April 12) Either: as regards or with regard to….

“In the heydays of the goggled General when fuel was often unavailable…” (THE GUARDIAN, April 20) Stranglehold of oil workers: heyday (uncountable).

“Last year, many houses of the Igbo in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos, were razed down.…” (THISDAY, April 20) 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.” (THE GUARDIAN, April 20) Democracy as a disincentive: vigilance group.

“Nigeria is at a crossroad” (VANGUARD, April 20) Fixed expression: at a/ the crossroads. “Stationeries badly needed by.…” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, April 20) ‘Stationery’ is non-count.