Sauce for The Goose…



With Ebere Wabara

THISDAY Front Page of July 27 welcomes us today with this window wrongdoing: “The CBN yesterday said that (sic—redundant) some interests…who have (had) been misleading members of the public.”

“…abducted last week Friday….” Get it right: last Friday or Friday, last week

“Justice Tsabo sworn-in (sworn in) as acting Federal High Court Chief Judge”

“CIIN Deputy DG murdered in S’Africa buried amidst (amid) tears”

“His lyrics and word play has gotten (have got) a lot of recognition in the African music industry.”

“Police stops (stop) mob action on Okorocha’s daughter over Imo Govt property”

“Finally from THISDAY under review: “…in the bossom (bosom) of the Lord.” 

“Of political killings and herdsmen (herdsmen’s) ineptitude” (DAILY SUN OPINION Page Headline, July 29)

“I read where the NEF said that (sic) people are (were) victimising the Fulani….” (Politics & Power, July 29) “Soldiers take over troubled spots” (Daily Trust Front Page Headline, April 20) 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.

“ADZ (not real name) killed in car accident” Why not ’’ADZ dies in car accident?’’ He was not killed—except it was premeditated murder!

“Tragedy has struck Nigerian football as Super Eagles (Eagles’) first choice right back…lost his life 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)….” (Vanguard, April 19)

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?

“This time around we want change through the power of….” Edifying God: This time round (British) while the extract is American English

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

“Gang up against Buhari will fail” (NIGERIAN Tribune Headline, April 15) 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 required 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.…”  (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 groups

“Atiku points accusing fingers at INEC….” (DAILY SUN, April 20) People in the news: Atiku points the finger. No obtuse addition

“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.

“But what appears criminal is the desire of these off-springs of.…” (DAILY TRUST, April 20) ‘Offspring’ does not take any inflection.

The next three goofs are from VANGUARD of April 20: ”…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” (Nigerian Tribune, April 20)

“I have been briefed that the wrangling among the leaders of PDP are (is) over.” (SUNDAY VANGUARD, April 17) 

BusinessDay of April 20 disseminated an embarrassing impropriety: “Now that the Police has (have) taken over the supervision of the….”

“…and ensure it does not reoccur again.”  (THE GUARDIAN, April 20) ‘Reoccur again’? Run for cover, my dear reader! Just recur. Recur, recurrence, recurrent. Occur, occurred, occurrence.

“Lack of incentives anger (angers) local manufacturers” (THE GUARDIAN, April 20)

“They provide temporary relief.” (Source: as above) ‘Temporary relief? I strongly object to that clumsy expression because there is no permanence in ‘relief’.

THE PUNCH of April 20 circulated three solecisms: “The patients pay for each act of ‘healing’ through their noses.” Get it right: they pay through the nose or excessively

“At the launching programme (launch) in Abuja.…” “A cursory look at the figures show (shows) that.…” Daily Sun of April 19 circulated copious shibboleths: “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

“It may be difficult for Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu to resurrect again politically after his disastrous outing in a previous presidential election.”  Please, yank off ‘again’ in the interest of lexical sanity and 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.  

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

 “…to that extent, we shall congratulate its authors for (on/upon) hearing the deafening cry of Nigerians for an effective legislature.” (Nigerian Tribune, April 20)

“…were simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.”  (DAILY INDEPENDENT, April 20) ‘Fallout’ is uncountable.

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

The next four faults are from a communiqué of the meeting of Isuikwuato District Welfare Association on the governorship of Abia State: “Infact (In fact), the first meeting of Abia State Creation Movement was….”

“…have met to take a critical and closer look into this union….” Communiqué of the meeting: have/take a look at somebody/something or, in another context, have/take a look around or round (British) somebody/something

“…towards helping them become entrepreneurs by realizing their God given (God-given) talents.”

“We feel that what is good for the geese is also good for the gander.” This way: what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.”

“Farmers/herders (herders’) clashes: OMPALAN inaugurates peace panel in Abuja” (Abuja METRO, July 31) “Dealing with herdsmens’ (herdsmen’s) horrors” (DAILY SUN Headline, July 31) This should be food for thought! 

“Apapa gridlock: FG to invest $500m on (in) Ibadan dry port facilities” (Source: as above)

“Buhari: A make or mar cabinet” Get it right: make-or-break cabinet—nobody has poetic/literary/journalistic, et al, licence to tamper with fixed/stock or idiomatic expressions. I am sure 99 per cent of Nigerians use the extracted faux pas!