Media Gaffes With Ebere Wabara
Happy New Year! Please note that the first alphabets of the three-word salutation must be in capital letters. Best wishes in 2021.
“GOvs vow never to give up in (on) fight against criminals”
“Hereafter advice to Nigerian leaders—Babangida in (on) focus”
“There will be what I call enriched mobile communication experience come 2021 through mobile money….” ICT development: experience in 2021.
One of the national newspapers under review darkened the English language copiously: “PDP in make or mar primary” Get it right: make-or-mar primary. The hyphenation confers class. No standard publication dispenses with it. The same tragedy trailed the accompanying rider, too: “State by state analysis (sic) of how delegates may vote” As above: State-by-state analyses….
“…today’s presidential primary may be riddled with so much (many) underhand deals and sharp practices.” What is the difference between ‘underhand deals’ and ‘sharp practices’? The latter should subsume the former! An aside: ‘much’ instead of ‘many’?
“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….
“Soldiers take over troubled spots” Let peace reign: trouble spots.
“Post election violence spreads” Towards a better life for the people: Post-election violence….
“…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)….”
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?
“Bribery enthrones mediocrity and crucify merit.” The Tabernacle of bribery crucifies merit.
“Gang up against Buhari will fail” 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 applies 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, October 12) Either: as regards or with regard to….
“In the heydays of the goggled General when fuel was often unavailable…” (THE GUARDIAN, October 20) Stranglehold of oil workers: heyday (uncountable).
“Last year, many houses of the Igbo in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos, were razed down.…” 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.” (Source: as above) Democracy as a disincentive: vigilance group.
“PDP points accusing fingers at INEC….” People in the news: Buhari points the finger. No obtuse addition.
“Nigeria is at a crossroad” (VANGUARD, September 20) Fixed expression: at a/the crossroads.
“Stationeries badly needed by.…” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, October 20) ‘Stationery’ is non-count.
“But what appears criminal is the desire of these off-springs of.…” ‘Offspring’ does not take any inflection.
The next three goofs are from VANGUARD of October 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, October 20)
“I have been briefed that the wrangling among the leaders of PDP are (is) over.” (SUNDAY VANGUARD, November 29)
BusinessDay of November 4 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, November 5) ‘Reoccur again’? Run for cover, my dear reader! Just recur. Recur, recurrence, recurrent. Occur, occurred, occurrence.
“Lack of incentives anger (angers) local manufacturers” (Source: as above)
“They provide temporary relief.” (Source: as above) ‘Temporary relief’? I strongly object to that clumsy expression because there is no permanence in ‘relief’. If the ‘relief’ becomes efficacious, the expression should the change!
THE PUNCH of August 20 circulated three solecisms: “The patients pay for each act of ‘healing’ through their noses.” Get it right: they pay through the nose.
“At the launching programme (launch) in Abuja.…”
“A cursory look at the figures show (shows) that.…”
“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 the presidential elections.” Please, delete ‘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) hearing the deafening cry of Nigerians for an effective legislature.” (Nigerian Tribune, October 20)
“…were simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.” ‘Fallout’ is uncountable.
“Out-of-control trailer crushes 15 persons to death” When people are crushed by a trailer, they cannot be alive except there is divine intervention. So, ‘crushed to death’ smacks of lexical insensitivity.
LAST LINE: Thanks to Dr. Stanley Nduagu (from Aba, Abia State/08062925996) for this week’s headline intervention. More contributions are welcome in the New Year for an enriched-cum-interactive platform.