‘Upliftment’ Incorrect

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Media Gaffes

Ebere Wabara

IN response to a demand by one of the ardent readers of this column, I make the following elucidation concerning ‘upliftment’. There is no such word as ‘upliftment’. What exist are ‘uplift’, ‘uplifted’ and ‘uplifting’. According to the copious dictionaries I use, ‘uplift’ (noun/singular) implies an increase in something. An uplift in sales. Also, as an uncountable noun that describes a feeling of happiness and hope. Its verb form  means to make someone feel happier or to make something higher. ‘Uplifted’ (adjective) is feeling happier and more hopeful. I felt uplifted by Davido’s presence at the event. In literary context: raised upwards. ‘Uplifting’ (adjective): making you feel happier and more hopeful. An uplifting experience….   

NATIONAL NEWS of September 11 takes over with this egregious headline: “FG to clamdown (sic) (clamp down) on unregistered IT firms, operators”

THISDAY of September 7 takes over from the introductory medium with this front page lexical sluggishness: “Oshiomhole: After 100 days, President no longer Baba Go Slow” The phrase, Baba Go Slow, should have been set off with quotes thus: ‘Baba Go Slow’—for standard morphological reasons. 

“Oshiomhole explained that government is (was) already effectively on ground….”

“Obasanjo: Late (The late) Zimbabwe (Zimbabwean) President, an indomitable fighter”

DAILY SUN comes next with this common headline infraction: “Mugabe’s body arrives Harare today” Get it right: arrives in Harare today. Grammar comparison: You arrive in a city or country: We arrived in London at 2 a.m. You arrive at a place such as house, hotel, or airport: They arrived at the airport at 10.30. You arrive home: He arrived home at midnight. You arrive here/there/back: Call me when you arrive there. (Source: Dictionary of Contemporary English—6th Edition—For Advanced Learners)

“This is because of the numerous restraints, both social and economical (economic), which is (are) associated with the day to day (day-to-day) life of a convict.” (DAILY TRUST, April 6)

“Planned national carrier project remain (remains) on course, insists….”

“Bayelsa/Kogi polls: INEC reminds parties of Sept 9 deadlines (sic) for guber (governorship) candidates”

“Kayode is at the helms (helm) at….”

“Nigerians (Nigerians’) blood matter (matters) as fear, anger fuel xenophobic attacks”

From Global Soccer of September 7 comes the next goof: “Osun half marathon (half-marathon) to sensitise on (sensitize to) exercise, fitness, says…”

“’Three Thieves’—an upcoming movie—provide (provides) unlimited humour”

“Davido’s club manager…said that (the) nuptial will (would) be ‘the biggest wedding in Africa.’”

“It’s been a week of challenges for housemates with back to back (back-to-back) task….”

Finally from THISDAY under review: “Bauchi Gov swears-in (swears in) 20 new commissioners” Phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation.

“Your efforts and love for the people is (are) testified in….”

Let us welcome DAILY Sun Editorial of September 9: “The South African government must be held vicariously liable for the attacks and damages (damage)….” ‘Damage’, in this context, is uncountable. 

“Nigeria, Cameroon strenghten (strengthen) collaboration on commerce, MSMEs devt (dev)”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         THE GUARDIAN of April 7 nurtured two sub-headline blunders: “Southeast bound (Southeast-bound) passengers stranded at Lagos Airport”

“Facilities at AOCOED excites (why?) NCCE team”

“I had it rough at (in) the beginning—Proprietress, Carol School”

“CAF mourns late Somalia FA boss” A rewrite: CAF mourns Somali FA boss. Do we mourn someone who is alive?

“CSR: Between philantropy and palliatives” Brands and marketing: philanthropy”

“…Toure’s kids’ gloves treatment of the Tuareg rebels (rebels’) insurgence as its main reason to….” All the facts, all the sides: kid gloves.

“Akwa Ibom Commissioner dies in motor accident” (Headline) Now the first sentence: “Immediate past Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Akwa Ibom….” The misleading headline gives the impression that it is a serving commissioner! Next time: ex-commissioner.

“Woman arrested for killing mum” It is obvious that the sub-editor who treated this story has never heard of ‘matricide’! So, woman arrested for matricide.

“The elevation of some police officers and retirement of 13 Assistant Inspectors General has (have) led to some bad blood (delete the word preceding bad blood) in the force….” Elevation and retirement are distinct milestones that cannot be collapsed into singularity! 

“When Hafeez Ringim, then an Assistant Inspector General (a comma) was elevated to the rank of Inspector General (another comma) all his seniors (DIGs) had to retire.” Not true: they were retired to pave way for the Ringim ultimate disaster!

“You have undoubtedly brought to bear stability and credibility to (on) the National Assembly.” Let us ignore the convoluted lexical arrangement to save space and time.  

“Your unassailable wisdom and sterling qualities have made you stand out as trustworthy and reliable leader.” Happy Birthday: a (note the article) trustworthy and reliable leader. 

“Your ability to work out knotty political puzzles…makes you worth (worthy) of emulation.” 

“Indeed, its (it’s) really a pleasure working with you….”

“…so he could not have seen fire and tell (told) me to put my hand.” Alternatively, he cannot see fire and tell me to put my hand.

“Why change your wardrobe every five minutes while all it takes is a different accessories.” All it takes are different accessories.

According to the Book of Proverbs (12 v 1), whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. On this note, constructive interventions are welcome—not frivolous hypercriticisms devoid of intellectual depth. For me, I treasure other language columnists and cherish the candour of those who critique my own work. There is no perfection in the business of public communication, yet we have to keep striving after purism.  

“Even when members of the Special Task Force (STF) came to restore order at the venue….” Conscience, Nurtured by Truth:  restore order to (not at) the venue….

“In Nigeria, if you loose, you call a press conference telling the world the judge does not like your face or is biased and so on.” Just lose.

“Nigeria’s first private refinery takes-off soon” Again, phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation. 

“Every one of us has a part to play as electorates because this is the only country we have.”  Democracy for Justice: ‘electorate’ is a collective that does not need any inflection. A rewrite: Every one of us has a part to play as a member of the electorate or as an elector (or still, all of us have a part to play as the electorate). 

 “…good governance in a continent where the use of impunity, unfortunately, has become an instrument of democratic governance” Tunisia’s changing times: on a continent.

“Like (As) I have always said….”

“…calling to question the forced involvement of Nigeria in the second world war.” At a time like this: World War II.

“It was this situation that heightened the political condition in the country that culminated into….” ‘Culminate’ takes ‘in’.

“London was actually constantly under siege until he was eventually extradited back to Nigeria….” The Guardian is not on trial, but let us delete ‘back’ from the extract for all parties’ collective grammatical sanity.

From the preceding diseased headline to this juvenile slipshodness: “Doctors suspend stike in Kaduna, Ebonyi” Even the computer underscored this ‘strike’ carelessness from the same page as above! Do we still have editorial bastions (proofreaders) this time round? 

Lastly from THE PUNCH under ‘cross-examination’: “The facility will result in improved security profile of the Internet traffic and save the nation of the embarrassment of….” Info-tech: save the nation the embarrassment of….  

“Renowned filmmakers will converge in (on) Nigeria next week for….”

THE PUNCH OPINION of August 10 circulated two goofs: “Politically, experts in IT advocated for the use of e-voting system….” Once again, ‘advocate’ when used as a verb does not admit ‘for’.

“There will be what I call enriched mobile communication experience come 2020 through mobile money….” ICT development: experience in 2020. 

“In doing so (a coma) some of the government’s supporters may certainly have overstepped the bound of propriety….” From the other side: the bounds of propriety.

“Reactions to this position have been pouring in, and it’s highly elating that most share same position.” This way: most share the same position.

“Majority of Nigerians are of the opinion that a country roundly blessed has no business tottering at the brink of disintegration and collapse.” A/the majority of Nigerians….