Recur, Not ‘Reoccur’


Media Gaffes With Ebere Wabara

LET us begin on a celebratory note today: “The management and staff of Aiteo, (needless comma) felicitates (felicitate) with one of its (their) own….”

According to Henry Ward Beecher, newspapers are the schoolmasters of the common people. And, may I add, the nobility, too.

THE NATION ON SUNDAY of February 28 circulated three blunders: “We said that in order to diffuse (defuse) tension and remove unnecessary controversy.”
“…seems all set to break new boundaries (ground) as she continues to….”
“Igbo re-open (reopen) businesses”
BUSINESSDAY of March 1 committed two howlers: “By 2022, the harvest time, groups will (would) have known their agreed domains.”
“Katsina steps-up (steps up) economic outlook with 2021 budget”
Vanguard of March 2 displayed sloppiness: “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo laying a wreath as he pays last respect (respects) during the….”

The next shibboleth is from THE NATION of March 2: “Nigeria is one of the few countries where such a man with such a sordid past could have aspired to and indeed clinch (clinched) the prized post of….”
“Minister warns U-17 coaches against over-aged players” (THE GUARDIAN, March 2) Conscience, Nurtured by Truth: overage players
“Defunct NITEL workers lay siege on ministry” As the first register (offender), I will not lay siege to the Kirikiri Canal office of the medium which is working towards a better life for the people.

THE GUARDIAN of February 10 carried two infelicities: “…Nwodo spoke to journalists in Enugu on his role in the controversial dissolution of the state executive of the state chapter of the PDP, which has pit (pitted) him against the state government.”
“He recently visited Nigeria and had a chat with THE GUARDIAN…where he bares (bared) his mind….”
“…we had to be praying we should not meet ourselves (one another) at the war front.” (THE NATION Life, February 10)
“They both died in Abuja in a ghastly (fatal) motor accident.” ((THE PUNCH, February 10) Once a vehicular mishap results in death, it is fatal. But, if there is no loss of life, it is ghastly. There is a clear distinction between fatalistic finality and ghastliness.

“The minister at (on) the occasion remarked that his administration was determined to make a difference by opening new frontiers inspite (in spite) of….” (Nigerian Tribune, February 10)
“I would have advised that the wishes of the people is (sic) the most paramount….” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Politics, February 10)
“Less than 20 of them had just taken their seats when suddenly, (needless comma) there was a big bang and the steel pillars carrying the big tank situated between two classroom blocks….” (SATURDAY TRIBUNE, February 27) ‘Big bang’ reminds me of ‘heavy downpour’ and ‘mass exodus’! Dear reader, flee from unnecessary embellishments (big, heavy and mass). Why not ‘between classroom blocks’?

“She speaks (is it a continuous process?) on her mission and what she has in stock for the rural woman in Africa.” (Source: as above) What do Nigerian newspapers have in store for readers?
Wrong: beseiged; right: besieged
“What to know about beddings” (Nigerian Tribune, February 5) Uncountable: heyday, yesteryear, bedding, cutlery, harassment, stationery, et al.

“…Osun APC receives PDP decampees” Simply, defectors. ‘Decampees’ is a Nigerian creation.
“50 persons arrested over obaship crisis in Ogun community” Next time, I will arrest THE NATION for (not over) lexical laxity.
“Complaint galore over boxing weigh-in scales” This way: complaints galore.
“Peak warms up to consumers” Grammar is not a shopping affair: just worm up.
“CBN boss absorbs Bank MD of fraud” Dear reader, who will absolve this medium of linguistic fraud?
“Between the strenght of the naira and inflation risk” The spelling and grammar icon of any computer detects this kind of juvenile error: strength, straight please!

“The cash-for-vote scandal currently rocking world football governing (a hyphen) body….” (The Guardian, February 26) ‘Currently’ and ‘rocking’ cannot co-function because of the latter’s inherent currency: The cash-for-vote scandal rocking….
“…on the ground (grounds) of massive irregularities….” (Source: as above)
“It is unfortunate that politics has degenerated into this mindless bubble and reducing (reduced) leaders to mere liars (a liar is a liar!) in the face of opportunism.” (The Guardian Opinion Page, February 26)
THISDAY of February 10 committed five unpardonable lapses: “…before the advent of the Europeans in Nigeria, most societies or kingdoms have thriving and stable political system…” This way: most societies or kingdoms had (not have) thriving and stable political systems (not system).

“The result was that what was supposed to be a consensus agreement willingly entered into by….” Is ‘consensus agreement’ a new morphological combination? Next time, just deploy either.
“Knowing fully well that Abacha was a key factor in the Babangida regime…” Intelligent commentary: knowing full well or knowing fully.

“What is good for the goose should be good for the gander.” Fixed expression: What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
“Intermittently, the question of reviving productivity and our slumbering work ethics resurfaces in public discourse.” Answer: work ethic.

“Lovers, friends, neighbours and relatives all joined the bandwagon, raising the tension to a feverish pitch.” No moronic expression: climb/jump on/aboard the bandwagon (not join).
“Strike actions are lawful but inexpedient” (The Guardian, February 10) We certainly do not need ‘action’ here. All strikes are action-based. The same applies to ‘fire outbreak’ and ‘fire incident’.

“…we can draw some conclusions from the above statements of Mr. President with regards to his disposition to the strike.” In order to avoid this kind of shibboleth from the DAILY INDEPENDENT of February 10, either use ‘with regard to’ or ‘as regards his….’
“The two-day event kicks off today and rounds up (off) tomorrow” (Source: as above) Correct word is bracketed in the extract.
“…government would commence investigation (an investigation or investigations) into the immediate and remote (sounds like a cliché!) causes of the incident to prevent future occurrence.” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY, February 28) A rewrite: …to forestall/prevent recurrence. Elegance, creativity and simplicity confirm class.