Grouse About, Not Against/Over/With…
Media Gaffes With Ebere Wabara
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Let us go: “This is me diligently serving my fatherland at Ogun State 32 years a go (sic).” Get it right: in Ogun State
“I am surprised that organizations that want to be taken serious (seriously) said they are (were) surprised….”
“If you have 3 kids (children) or more and you still survive under our present economy (economic) conditions….” ‘Kid’ is informal for ‘child’
“Oni: My grouse with….” To avoid any litigation: my grouse about (not with or against)…gentlemen of the press. DAILY INDEPENDENT of February 2 also committed the same blunder in one of its headlines: “My grouse against election tribunals….”
It is not everything that is in the dictionary that is correct at all times because of language dynamism. It is for this reason that the dictionary and other reference books are continually revised. So, don’t go about dogmatically chest-thumping that you have an infallible authority when reacting to etymological issues published in this column.
You need to do a lot of research-based rationalization informed by voracious reading if you crave purity in communication. That is the only way to go for sticklers.
“They, in turn, could be able to carry out their legitimate duties to their customers.” Either: could or would be able. ‘Could be able’ is offensive.
“Some people who have axe (an axe) to grind against (with) NIJ and its management”
“That is one thing that is not so easy to come by at the Ogba campus of the NIJ” Get it right: on the Ogba campus.
“The effort of such illustrious alumni are needed to lift it up from the present morass.” Why the subject-verb discord? Effort is (not are) needed.
“To those close to the corridor (corridors) of power.…”
“Let him breath the air of freedom.” (Vanguard, February 2) Noun: breath; verb: breathe.
“With a stroke of fate, Goodluck Jonathan had been thrust on (in) the leadership saddle of the nation.”
“Rather, we prefer to import the latest from foreign countries, without trying to see whether we can produce better varieties”. Delete ‘from foreign countries’.
“Though successful (successive) governments had at different times urged Nigerians to….”
“…the armed robbers have already gone with their loots”. ‘Loot’ is non-count.
“Nigerians need other people friendly (people-friendly) foundations to join the bandwagon”. Either climb or jump on/aboard the bandwagon.
“Regard the face of our Head of State at formal and informal occasions.” (THE GUARDIAN, February 2) To laugh is human: on (not at) all occasions.
“That shoot-at-sight order in Libya” Get it right: shoot-on-sight order.
“…a constitution designed to ensure peace and stability is this nation’s only antidote against (to) national disintegration.”
“When our prisons are bursting at their seems (seams) with political detainees…..”
“The aversion of Nigerians for (to) military rule is clear and unmistakable.”
“The way the principal actors in these two periods acted has become a re-occurring subject….” Why this recurring gaffe?
“…alleging intimidation and harassments which made fair conduct of elections unattainable. “ ‘Harassment’ is non-count.
“But I believe in a Nigeria in which what is good for the goose is good for the gander” (THISDAY, February 2) What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.…
”…Nigeria which should be flying with the eagles is roaming about with the chicken” (Source: as above) Always at the brink: delete ‘about’.
“While those with matured (mature) minds were able to control their emotions.…”
“Musicians pay last respect to departed….” Fixed: last respects
“The armed bandits struck at Hawan-Kibo, about 60 kilometres from Jos.” Are there un-armed bandits?
“Relationship between the two departments cannot.…” Get it right; The relationship between the departments cannot…..
“Members of ANCLA are now working on plans to see that this menace is reduced or wiped out completely.” Delete ‘completely’ to foreclose lexical insanity.
“The development is sad, pathetic and constitutes a terrible setback on the objective of the party reform.” Get it right: a setback to (not on) the objective….
“Hopefully, we will end up with a human specie (species) that is half-man and half-dog.”
“We must congratulate him for (on/upon) these, but….”
“Former President of America Donald Trump expressed confident (confidence) that the Nigerian leader will enthrone an enduring democracy in the country.”
“At the end of the day, their children still have to interact with the offsprings of the marginalized masses.” ‘Offspring’ is uncountable.
“And Nigerians, as well as the international community, have evidently warmed to this new hopeful visage.” Get it right: wormed.
“As we observed last week Tuesday in regard to.…” Either: last Tuesday or Tuesday, last week
“Do we have any right to demand for grain supplements from these countries?” (THE GUARDIAN ON SATURDAY, January 30) Readers have the right to demand (not demand for) formal use of the English language by Nigerian newspapers.
“…the oba suffered the indignity in London of having some of his luggages (luggage) identified….”
“Atimes (At times) the person falls asleep easily.…”
“Right from the time she served on the guild’s standing committees, she put in her very best.” The face of grammar: ‘best’ cannot be amplified (very best!) because of its superlative form which abhors inflection.
“Firm plans MKO pavillion at poly” Spell-check: pavilion.
“Hence the reluctance of some private sector employers to participate in the new welfare scheme is borne out of the precedence being set by the public sector.” Get it right: precedent.
Overheard on Wednesday morning: “Are you hearing me…?” This is wrong. ‘Hearing’ cannot function as a verb because of its structural characterization. The correct expression goes thus: ‘Can you hear me?’
“He said people are (were) worried as hell….”
“PMB sends warm greetings and commendation to a Nigerian doctorate (sic) student in University of….” Get it right: doctoral student. ‘Doctoral’ (adj.) (only before noun) done as part of work for the university degree of doctor. ‘Doctorate’ (noun) a university degree of the highest level Credit: Longman Dictionary…