Pool, Not Pull, Resources

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By Ebere Wabara

LATEST trend in spellings (‘z‘)—no more ‘s’: “…in their various constituencies to synthesise (synthesize) grass root (sic) opinions on this all important (all-important) project.” Not my view: grassroots opinions….

“In many respect (respects) it is out of tune with modern reality….”

“Nigeria has never degenerated to (into) this level, security wise.”

“That is why the state governments need to be given the impetus to pull (pool) their wisdom and resources together….” Delete the last word in the extract.

“…the states and local governments sufficiently financially empowered to take care of its (their) responsibilities.” There should be a conjunction between ‘sufficiently’ and ‘financially’.

The next two lexical frauds are from the Editorial of one of the newspapers under review today: “The minister exposed the shock find during an official visit to PHCN’s facilities in (on) the premises of the….”

“…contributed to PHCN’s woeful (abysmal) failure to provide regular electricity supply to the nation.”

Still on the recurring pool of grammatical disasters: “The minister had, on Tuesday, drew (drawn) the ire of workers by arguing that….”

“…the federal government must embark on some cost saving (cost-saving) measures….”
“His arguments on the introduction of N5,000 notes was (were)….”

“FG to sanction DISCOs over over-billing of customers” A rewrite: “FG to sanction DISCOs for overbilling customers”

“Teachers employed by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) to complement….” Education Today: Parent-Teacher Association (PTA),,,,

“CANNU donates to flood relief (flood-relief) fund”

“Eduwatch gathers students, scholars together” Delete the last word in the excerpt.

“Geepee proudly introduces world class (world-class) multilayer (multi-layer) composite panels…no painting, no maintainence” Bloated pride: maintenance!
THE GUARDIAN Opinion Page of September 26 circulated two improprieties: “With preparations in top gear, and barring any last minute (last-minute) hitches….”

“The final death nail (sic) came with the present political dispensation that began in 2000 that paid lip-service to governance.” Get it right: death knell or just knell. There is nothing like ‘final death nail’!

“If the Abia PDP stalwarts have forgotten, we will gladly remind them that candidates who stand for elections under (on) the platform (platforms) of political parties….”

“Kaduna gears up for LG polls amidst (amid) fears of violence”

“Records show that their actions and inactions, in the past, have (had) contributed in (to)….”

“Non-partisan intelligence driven mechanism panacea to Boko Haram” A rewrite: “Non-partisan, intelligence-driven mechanism, panacea to Boko Haram

DAILY INDEPENDENT of October 6 disseminated three blunders: “It was none enforcement and none implementation of these provisions….” Get it right: non-enforcement and non-implementation.

“And if you are talking about administration, it all bothers (borders) on the Office of the Secretary.”

“Media and Communication alumni elects (elect) exco”

SATURDAY TRIBUNE of October 24 circulated two errors of different hues: “…the president thanked Suleiman for his services to the nation and wishes (wished) him success in his future endeavours.”

“Ojukwu: Better sung in death than alive” No politics in grammar as illogic is disallowed: dead than alive (in another phrasal context) or death than life (life or death—not dead, by way of extrapolation), which is apposite here.

“Hanging over the nation is the spectra of economic corruption and a descent into (to) chaos and anarchy.” And this: spectrum (singular, which applies here) and spectra or spectrums, just like forums (fora), stadiums (stadia)—all plural and interchangeable.

“The political intrigues and power-play that have been associated with the preparations for the 2023 governorship race in Abia State has (have) finally led to the….”

“Coup d’états, juntas, military governments and transitions to civil rule” A tribute: coups d’état….

“Appointment of Joseph Yobo: The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) stand to reap.…” The Nigeria Football Federation stands to reap….

“It is therefore most expedient for President Muhammadu Buhari to re-examine his role in government and take a honourable bow from leadership.” Remembering global patriots: an honourable bow

“Even now, no talk of regional or sub-regional integration is complete in this continent without an echo from Nigeria.” Even in French and other languages: on the continent.

“I am convinced that what held the audience spell-bounded (spellbound) and excited was the fact of an Anglophone speaker being able to fluently tell them in their own language….”

“Instead, people compete and fall over themselves (one another) for the crumbs from the high table (dais/platform/podium…certainly not the Nigerian journalese “high table”) and even defend the indefensible.”

“…the two big parties whose promises of no new taxes and an increased service delivery is (are) not taken serious (seriously) by any informed observer.” The right thoughts are bracketed (or in parenthesis, as Americans would write).

“…others point out the moral ground for such action (an action), given Labour’s antecedents in the past” Gosh! What is ‘antecedents in the past’? Just antecedents, I beg you. One of these days, somebody would write ‘future antecedents’! Please gently delete ‘in the past’.

“Atimes (At times), they sleep inside their ‘clients’ vehicles”

“For ON television channel, the emerging identity is that of a musical and grassroot TV station. Whether as an adjective or a noun: grassroots.

“As at 1985 there are (were) over 36,000 dams in the world with about 18,000 in China alone.”

“Dams construction have (has) generated problems across the world that….”
“The accused policeman was said to have actually demanded for N10,000 before he was arrested.” ‘Demand’ does not admit any inflection.

“Are you therefore surprised to find mediocres promoted beyond their highest level of competency?” The noun form of ‘mediocre’ (an adjective) is ‘mediocrity’ (personally preferred) or ‘mediocrist’

“His two fundamental actions on assuming the reigns of government in Kinshasa smack of acts of a dictator.” No lexical autocracy: reins of government.

In defence of correct spelling: Again: harassment (not harrasment or harrassment—and is non-count), but embarrassment(s).

“Statistics of African debt profile shows (show) that Nigeria is holding about 15 per cent of the continent’s debt.”

“But none of these leaders coming with large (a large) retinue of people (would it have been of dogs?) will agree that it is important to back-up (back up) their good wishes with concrete policy (policies/a concrete policy) in the area of debt management for sustainable growth.”

“Within the 15 years of the four military regimes under review, Nigeria moved twice from one extreme end of the scale to the other in her (its) relation with other nations.” Either ‘extreme’ or ‘end’. Both words cannot co-function in any new school environment.

“General Babangida’s emergence on the scene brought an initial soothing balm in Nigeria’s foreign relations because of his early release of a transition programme.” Is there any balm that hurts? This knowledge-driven columnist needs to know, please.
“While the Chinese were still protesting the bombing of their embassy in Belgrade, NATO had gone ahead to bomb the Swiss embassy, causing damages (damage) to the Angolan embassy and hit (hitting) a hospital, among others.”

“Our dismal performance at France ‘98 which led to our early exit from the Mundial and at the World Youth Championship hosted by Nigeria signify (signifies) that our soccer is sick and needs a surgical operation.”

“What is laying a siege on (to) public wealth and traumatizing all those who dared to point accusing fingers” Delete ‘accusing’ because of its contextual redundancy and this: point the finger.

“Perhaps his recent activities might have qualified him to give the military’s transfer of power to civilians lecture in Abuja last week Monday.” Either last Monday or Monday, last week

“Abubakar, who said the military should congratulate itself for (on or upon, once more) keeping faith with its promise to handover (hand over) power….”

“How does the separation of powers that are (is) discernible in Government textbooks operate in real life?”

“Perhaps, ladies need to think of less tempting recesses for hiding jewelries”

‘Jewelry’ is non-count. Note that the British spelling is ‘jewellery’, which is most preferred—the other version is American corruption of the word!