Governance: Reins, Not ‘Reigns’


MEDIA GAFFES With Ebere Wabara

“APC: This is to inform all concerned that the all important (all-important) Anambra State Stakeholders’ meeting to be addressed by….”

“Chrome Group congratulates you for (on/upon) a successful one year in office as….”
“It’s now one year since God brought you to the reigns of power (handed you the reins) to change the fortunes of….”

“A payment solution that enables your customers make (to make) quick….” (Full-page advertisement by Access, THISDAY, January 23) This is certainly beyond banking!
“We are looking at assets lying down and in some cases, even completely rundown (run down)”

“…is looking good for the alter (altar)….”
“Earlier, the government has (had) planned to borrow N850billion (N850 billion) from unclaimed dividends….”
Wrong: out of school children
Right: out-of-school children
“For the first time since the scandal broke, Senate, yesterday, admitted paying only N62.5 million to purchase a bullet-proof Range rover Sports Utility (Sport-Utility) Vehicle (SUV) for the office of its president.”
“Police arraign alleged fake lawyer in court” Where else would they have arraigned the buffoon? Yank away ‘in court’!
“2 jailed 4 years over (for) rape”
“The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your (our) children.”
“We rejoice with you on your 65 (65th) birthday….”
“Not only do we rejoice with the celebrant (celebrator) for partaking in abundant grace….”
“He will grant you strenght (strength), good health and wisdom.”
“…as you strive to contribute your quota in (to) building a more vibrant democracy for the benefit of our dear country.”
“With people (a person) like you working with our dear president and other patriotic Nigerians….”
“This is indeed a (the) right time to express how positively you have impacted good moral, attitude and values to (on) the people that have come across you.”
“The commitment and dedicated leadership you shown (show or have shown) has (have)….”
From a full-page advertorial by Liberal Minds Grassroot (Grassroots) Forum come the following improprieties: “Words are too much (Words are not enough) to appraise your worth. Over the years (a comma) you have broken tribal (ethnic) barriers to stamp your imprints on….”
“Your giant strides have been highly impactful in (on) the lives of many….”
“We doff (preferably ‘take off’) our hats for (to) a dynamic strategist who turns 65 today.”
It is now the turn of APC (Lagos State): “The entire executive, leaders and members of our great party in the state of aquatic splendour felicitate with our referred (revered) leader on this occasion of….”

“The Board of Trustee (Trustees) (BoT) and the entire members of….”
“You are an advocate of true federalism and peace (peaceful) co-existence….”

“And your landmark achievements in (on) our nation’s political landscape these past years.” “Your continuous efforts for a better Lagos is (are) appreciated.”
“As a man of vision and a dogged fighter of (for) democracy….”

“We celebrate the peace of God in (on) your life and your family….”
“We were (are) delighted to mark this special day with you.”

Wrong: occassion; right: occasion
“66 candle light (lights) for Jagaban”
“You have proven (proved) to be a true hero of democracy….”
The next solecisms are by the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups: “Your sterling efforts…remains (remain) evergreen in the memory (memories) of Nigerians.”
“Today, we join other well meaning (well-meaning) people to rejoice with our amiable leader….”

“Also, the ruling party needs a strong crisis resolution (crisis-resolution) mechanism.”
“These long list (this long list or these long lists, depending on intent)
From Fatai Atere Way comes this misapprehension: “Asiwaju Tinubu is a workaholic.” The last entry in this excerpt is negative. Not many people know this!

“This truth no doubt was expressed in recognition of the role of the press in any society, especially one striving towards (for/after) the attainment of democracy.”
“And as the UN was packing its bags and baggage out of Somalia….” Standard expression: bag and baggage.

“…the whole nation hailed and applauded both parties in the protracted ASUU crisis for reaching an agreeable truce.” Gentlemen of the Press, what is the meaning of ‘agreeable truce’? Students used to make newspapers reference materials for English language studies. I doubt if that happens these days, with oddities like ‘agreeable truce’.

“Cake is fattening thereby loosing its attraction to….” Correct spelling can’t lose attraction.
“I and the other Nigerians who had come to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia…”) Grammatical discipline demands that you put self last: The other Nigerians and I….
“Kogi workers asked to sign attendant register” ‘Attendance register’, please.
“…and the partitioning of the country by the clan chiefs and warlords continue.” The partitioning (not the chiefs and warlords) continues.’

“Another recipient of the award was one of the directors of RayPower, a private electronic media….” If a non-journalist does not know the differences between ‘media’ and ‘medium’, I could excuse the fellow, but a (supposed) colleague of mine writing ‘a media’ amounts to crass illiteracy.

“They have in most cases remained willing collaborators in the de-politicization of the political system by acquiescing to virtually all the issues….” I cannot acquiesce in the ruination of modern English by some traditionalists.
“It was a most unhurried journey accomplished well over six hours, from 9 a.m. in the morning till about 2.00 p.m. in the afternoon.” One of these days, somebody will scribble ‘I saw the picture with my naked eyes’! Dear reader, you do not need ‘in the morning or afternoon’ after the abbreviation ‘a.m.’ or ‘p.m.’ ‘A.m.’ means ante meridiem (before noon). Similarly, p.m. refers to post meridiem (afternoon).

“The effectiveness of these provisions are hampered by ignorance and poverty.” This smacks of language poverty. Ignorance should not be extended to grammatical concord: “The effectiveness…is’.

“Jesus is calling you to return back to Him!” Delete ‘back’ because of its redundancy here.
“…what has happened to all the women arrested over such hineous (sic) crimes.” Get it right: ‘arrest’ takes ‘for’; never ‘over’. The same thing applies to ‘charge with’; not ‘for’ or ‘over’ as commonly used in the print media. And this: heinous
“Contributions made were for needy.” No blasphemy: the needy.