with Ebere Wabara
YOU are welcome to this edition: “Your simplicity and love for God and things of God is (are) worthy of emulation.” ‘Simplicity’ and ‘love’ are two distinct items that require pluralism.
“The sector equally offers options for national development, given its vast potentials (potential or potentialities) to drive a more sustainable economic growth in terms of job creation and revenue diversification.” Increasing agricultural budgets: ‘Potential’ is uncountable, unlike ‘potentiality’ (potentialities)
“Italian police swoop on Nigeria (Nigerian) mafia group, arrest 73” (THISDAY Front Page, October 31)
“Women owned (Women-owned) businesses get loan (loans) at 15% p.a (another full-stop) (Access Bank full-page advertisement, THISDAY, October 31)
The next set of blunders is from THISDAY under review: “I am not a wife beater, my wife never packed (moved) out”
“…only for him to plead for (with) her to return.”
“He has worked in different capacity (capacities) on some major Nollywood projects like….”
“Akeredolu wants illegal arms, ammunitions surrendered” (News Extra, October 31) Truth & reason: ‘ammunition’ is non-count.
“You are fair-minded, courageous, a defender of truth and special (and a special) gift to humanity.”
“Senate tackles Buhari’s minister over road project” (NATIONAL NEWS, November 2) Gentlemen of the Press, the official is a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria—not diligent President Muhammadu Buhari’s personal/domestic operative! Get it right: Senate tackles minister—the same thing applies to ‘commissioners’ at state level and councilors in the case of local government areas or wards. Public offices and their occupancies should never be personalized!
“PDP alleges plot to cover-up (cover up) diversion of COVID-19 palliatives” Noun: cover-up; phrasal verb: cover up (strictly no hyphenation)
“But this has been made more difficult now with the unwarranted destruction of private and public properties….” ‘Property’, except in technical applications, is uncountable. Example: The properties of water are hydrogen and oxygen. (I know science, too!) I hope I have not blown my trumpet this second time round.
“Buhari unveils N75b youth investment fund, reassures on implementation of protesters’ demands” Who did my assiduous president reassure? ‘Assure’/’reassure’ cannot stand alone.
“SARS operatives threw me down 2 storey building, broke my spinal cord, trader tells panel” The overzealous cops threw their victim down from 2-storey building (note the two interventions)
“Alleged fraud: Ex-Imo gov (Gov.), Ohakim, for court arraignment Nov 11” Delete ‘court’ from the diseased extract to foreclose stark illiteracy! One of my copious dictionaries defines ‘arraign’ (verb) (law) as: ‘to make someone come to court to hear what their crime is’. And the noun (countable and uncountable): ‘arraignment’ Is it very clear, my dear page follower?
“Yakubu got his doctorate (doctoral) degree in Nigeria History from Oxford University in 1991.” Alternatively, doctorate in Nigeria History…in 1991 Further note that ‘doctoral’ is an adjective (used only before noun), while ‘doctorate’ is a noun.
“Insurance companies assessing cost of damages at NPA Hqtrs—Usman” BUSINESS/MARITIME NEWS: ‘Damage’ is non-count except exclusively in legal or insurance reparative circumstances.
“EduTech records first class (first-class) nursing graduates”
The next two solecisms are from THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER PERSPECTIVE, November 7: “…the Arochukwu born (Arochukwu-born) businessman….”
“…the 4th and 5th National Assembly (assemblies) as member representing….”
“The entire staff and management of Century Group Celebrates (useless capitalization) (celebrate) with Chief Tunde Afolabi…as he turns 70” (Full-page advertorial, THISDAY, November 7) Again, happy birthday sir!
“…but the former Tottenham player is still at crossroads (a/the crossroads) as to where his international future lies” (GLOBAL SOCCER, November 7)
“…the state among the commity (comity) of states.”
“#EndSARS: Nigeria (Nigerian) businesses lost over N5tr—NECA” (PAGE 2 BUSINESS, November 11)
“Our prayer is that God Almighty will bless and keep you with (in) good health”
“Buhari launches National young farmers scheme” (NATIONAL NEWS, November 11) A rewrite: Buhari launches National Young Farmers’ Scheme
“…the Nigerian people will continue to put their tribes (ethnic groups) ahead of the country.” Please note that ‘tribe’ is a derogatory word used by colonialists centuries back! This kind of imperialist relic distorts and vitiates English language dynamism.
“Rest in God’s perfect peace, until we meet in heaven to part no more.” (THISDAY TRIBUTE. November 14) Even the computer underlined this error because God’s peace is perfect and does not require any embellishment whatsoever—no matter the emotion!
“I don’t let things hit me to push me back; instead I use it (them) to propel myself such as the passing (sic) of my dad.” (THISDAY PLUS, November 14)
“…who was arraigned on a 34-count charge bothering (bordering) on the diversion of….”
From DAILY INDEPENDENT of November 6 come the next two errors: “We assure Your Excellency that this confidence reposed on (in) our former Senate Leader is well placed and will manifest without probation.”
“CSR: NLNG invests N200m on (in) 10 Nigerian postgraduate scholars” Source: as above)
For the first time since this column birthed, we continue this edition with an advertisement: “Salt Spring Resort has been redefined and renovated to provide excellent service.” A refreshing experience of paradise; provide an excellent service or provide excellent services
Still on the above source: “We are poise (poised) to deliver uncompromise (uncompromised) quality product that will ultimately satisfied (satisfy) our esteemed customers. Come lets (let’s) give you….” What do we do with the sub-literacy of advertisement copies?
“Anger, protests, as deceased’s friends point fingers at lawmaker” Get it right: point the finger at lawmaker
THE NATION ON SUNDAY of November 15 endangered the English language on two occasions: “In most cases, the necessary environment does not exist for meaningful importation (impartation) of knowledge.”
“Matters are not helped by students who are now distracted by things that have no bearing to (on) their studies.”
“Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, appears set to take the bull by the horn (horns) by declaring his interest in the 2023 presidency….”
“Students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, are to cough-out (no hyphen) a total of N5 million for repairs of damages (damage) they perpetrated during a demonstration in July last year.” ‘Damage’ admits an inflection only in reparative matters.
“Now, It is the turn of the teachers, in the race for the coveted seat of vice-chancellorship, and boy, are the learned dons falling over themselves (one another) to out do (one word) each other (one another)?” When two fellows are concerned, we use ‘each other,’ but if it is more than two, it becomes ‘one another’,
“Secret cult in the campuses” Always on campuses.