Burglar Alarm, Not ‘Proof’


Media Gaffes

By Ebere Wabara

THE first set of blunders comes from The PUNCH of June 30 beginning from its editorial: “Two people, the BBC says, have been arrested over (for) the incident and….”

“Don’t let Igbo resort to self-help—Ohaneze faction leader” Another view: factional leader
“The review is to ensure a service reflective (service-reflective) tariff that will enable Eko Electricity attains (attain) the required….” (Full-page public notice by Eko Electricity Distribution Company, The PUNCH, June 30)

“Hearty cheers on your 70” (Full-page congratulatory advertorial by Fidelity Bank PLC, The PUNCH, June 30) Get it right: 70th Birthday—‘70th’ is adjectival and cannot function as a stand-alone.
“We use motor jack to open burglary proof installed in homes, offices—suspect” (News around the city, July 1) Crime, court & living: burglar alarm

N60m up for grab (grabs) as NB flags-off (flags off) 2020 Maltina teacher award” (NATIONAL NEWS, July 1) This way: Maltina Teacher Award

“Ndigbo in Lagos APC appoints (appoint) executive” (Source: as above)

The next two faults are contained in a public notice by the EFCC: “The public is hereby notified that the persons whose photographs appears (sic) below are wanted by the EFCC.” The challenge with templates and associated slothfulness: Just one man and his picture are involved, but vide the faux pas-ridden text!

Yet another cliché from the EFCC bag of flaws: “Anybody with useful information as to her whereabouts should please contact….” Would it have been useless information? I am just curious!

From DAILY Sun Editorial of July 1 come the following three howlers: “No doubt, the demolition was atrocious and also a direct affront on (to) the sovereignty of Nigeria.”

“Though Ghana has apologized over (for) the incident….”

“Sadly, there appears (appear) to be some underlying factors militating against….”

“Congratulations to my friend (friend of mine), partner, (otiose comma) and wife for (on/upon) this (these) eleven solid years (are there liquid years?)” Please note that the phrase, ‘solid years’, is informal.

“May his soul rest in perfect peace with his Maker.” Fixed expression: rest in peace. There is no ‘imperfect peace’. Exceptions: uneasy peace and inner peace. ‘Peace’, largely, is an absolute word.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has written world leaders….” Also note: you write to someone (British English). In American English, you can also write someone.

“…amidst criticisms over the country’s rising debt profile as well as the burden to service such debts.” Modern trend: amid—not amidst. Also while—not whilst; amongst (among).

“With a heart of felicitation and love, I wish to congratulate (I congratulate) my husband…over (on/upon) his merited doctorate (doctoral) award.”

“Your diligent nature and tenacity of purpose has (have) singled you out for recognition.”

“…but you have shown the world that good things comes (why?) to those who work for it (them).”

THISDAY of June 17 circulated copious blunders beginning from the front page: “In spite of the current division amongst (among) members of the terrorist group….” ‘Amidst’, ‘amongst’, ‘whilst’, ‘join together’, ‘log of wood’, ‘heavy downpour’ (the list is endless!)…belong to ‘old school’! Just ‘join’, ‘log’ and ‘downpour’—no padding!

“His present command and control (command-and-control) tactics must end.”

“…argues that ‘foreign terrorists’ are being treated with kid’s gloves.” Get it right: kid gloves
“I am sure those of them that participated in both competitions will tow (toe) the line of reasoning.”

“Biafra asks Igbo to switch-off (switch off) phones….” Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.
“…while incidences of diseases and death (deaths) have worsened.” Please note that even as ‘incidence’ is countable, it is usually singular.
“Lagos is a vibrant city with enormous potentials.” Either ‘potentialities’ or just ‘potentia
“Celebrating one of Plateau’s quintessential legal luminary (luminaries)!”

“Your several (many) years of practice and public service as commissioner…for about nine years has (have) no doubt….” Preferably ‘many’

“I am no doubt confident that Plateau State, the National Assembly where you now serve as a (an) honourable member….”

“Ashes to beauty (Ashes-to-beauty) story of the camera”

“…brings to the fore issues concerning some non-governmental organizations set up under the pretext of helping the needy but turn out to be scams”

“If a guy likes me and he’s going online to check for my status….” Delete ‘for’ because it is redundant

“FG seeks China (Chinese) cooperation to tackle piracy in entertainment industry”

“Strenghtening (Strengthening) commitment”, but straightening

Last entry from the back page of SATURDAY Telegraph under focus: “He is a bogeyman who pushes, shoves, pulls, elbows and even scratch (scratches) players on the face….”

“CPC to clampdown on illegal microfinance banks” Phrasal verb: clamp down (two words).

“An acknowledged scholar, a distinguished statesman and a team leader per excellence” This way: leader par excellence.

“New trends in electioneering campaigns” Just electioneering or political campaigns ‘Electioneering campaign’ is sheer verbiage! ‘Electioneering’ encompasses campaign and other related electoral issues.
“Some countries have taken tobacco manufacturers to court for the damages their products cause.” The will to die: ‘damage‘ is uncountable, except in reparative applications for indemnity.

“With the launching (launch preferably) of the poverty alleviation (a hyphen) programme by the Federal Government, not a few Nigerians desire to see it effectively in place. “

“…what happened was that somebody filed a writ of summon.” This way (singular): a writ of summons; plural: summonses.

“It is the Federal Board that is always guilty of that, because it is them who take riff-raffs as welfare officers.” ‘Riff-raff’ is uncountable.

“Modern technology has reduced the world into (to) a hamlet where the inhabitants are their brothers’ keepers.” This way: brother’s keeper (fixed idiom), irrespective of the number of people involved.
“The coincidence in the timing of all those sleazy gossips in soft-sell magazines and the beginning of his fashion parade….” ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable.

“More overaged players for youth soccer” Get it right: overage players.

“Residents of some of the troubled spots in South
Africa in disarray” Witness to lexical mayhem: trouble spots.

“…rummaging all the bags and ransacking every nook and corner.” Stock expression: nook and cranny.
“The police requires (require) a redeemer who can uplift the Force from the battering it (they) suffered during the long years of militarization.”

“I inquired from those that appear to know and they said that the president is (was) roaming the country in the name of campaigns.”

curity, no water, no roads, no health facilities in Nigeria.”
“Foreign companies will be falling over themselves (one another) to come and invest here if we get the 2023 elections right.”

“…given the lame-duck posture of the opposition parties, the APC simply held sway from the onset (outset).”

“Reactions on (to) the Pope’s visit, however successful, were mixed in Egypt, a country inhabited by a predominantly Muslim population.”

“Prior to the Pope’s visit, Egyptian Catholics have (had) opted out of the….”
“The first part was published last week Friday.” Monday politics: either last Friday or Friday, last week.

“Vigilante (vigilance) groups, committed to the enforcement of the by-law, are being set up.”

“Some of these areas include producing enough food to feed our teaming (teeming) population.”

“Rather, the money, including the N200 million per state released for special purposes, was diverted to other uses.” We certainly do not need the last three words in the extract, having been taken care of by ‘diversion’.

“Unless the detonating mechanism of extremist religious chauvinism is diffused” Get it right: defused (not diffused).