Media Gaffes With Ebere Wabara
YOU are especially welcome to this edition: “…said the bandits are (were) also demanding for (otiose) the release of their men (colleagues, preferably) being held by security agencies.” (THISDAY Front Page, February 20)
“Security: Ugwuanyi assures new AIG, Zone 13 (another comma) of support”
“We’re committed in (to) positioning Lagos to attract investors—Buhari” (PAGE 2 BUSINESS, February 17)
“I pray that the joy you have (had) spread in the past years come (comes) back to you in many folds on (sic) this day and always.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY of March 7 goofed: “Between the 60s to 80s….” Either between the 60s and 80s or from the 60s to 80s…. This format cannot be changed. It is one of the copious fixed/stock expressions in Standard English.
“CPC to clampdown on illegal microfinance banks” (Daily Trust, March 3) Phrasal verb: clamp down (two words)—Noun: clampdown
“This time around” (THE NATION, March 3) Not my own opinion: this time round (British English, while the extract is American version).
“An acknowledged scholar, a distinguished statesman and a team leader per excellence” (THISDAY, March 2) Get it right: leader par excellence.
“New trends in electioneering campaigns for 2023” (THISDAY, May 3) Politics Today: just electioneering or political campaigns. ‘Electioneering campaign’ is sheer verbosity! ‘Electioneering’ encompasses ‘campaign’ and other related electoral issues.
“INEC asks SSS to crackdown on violent politicians” (Daily Independent, March 5) Noun: crackdown; phrasal verb: crack down (which applies here).
Still on Daily Trust of March 3: “Some countries have taken tobacco manufacturers to court for the damages their products cause.” The will to die: ‘damage’ is uncountable, except in reparative applications for indemnity.
“With the launching (launch) of the poverty alleviation (a hyphen) programme by the Federal Government, not a few Nigerians desire to see it effectively in place. “ (THE GUARDIAN, March 3)
“…what happened was that somebody filed a writ of summon.” (Daily Independent, March 4) This way (singular): a writ of summons; plural: (writs of) summonses.
“It is the Federal Board that is always guilty of that, because it is them who take riff-raffs as welfare officers.” (Nigerian Tribune, March 3) ‘Riff-raff’, just like ‘stuff’, is uncountable.
“Modern technology has reduced the world into (to) a hamlet where the inhabitants are their brothers’ keepers.” This way: brother’s keeper (fixed/stock expression), irrespective of the number of people involved.
“The coincidence in the timing of all those sleazy gossips in soft-sell magazines and the beginning of his fashion parade….” ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable. Unlike this: There are too many gossips (wrongly and widely known as ‘gossipers’) in workplaces.
“More overaged players for youth soccer…. “(Nigerian Tribune, March 2) Get it right: overage players.
“Residents of some of the troubled spots in Northern Nigeria in disarray” (SATURDAY INDEPENDENT, March 6) Witness to lexical mayhem: trouble spots
“…rummaging all the bags and ransacking every nook and corner.” (Source: as above) Stock expression: nook and cranny.
Vanguard of March 9 disseminated seven improprieties: “The police requires (require) a redeemer who can uplift the Force from the battering it (they) suffered during the long years of militarization.”
“I inquired from those that appear to know and they said that the president is (was) roaming the world in the name of getting investors.”
“There is (are) no electricity, no security, no water, no roads, and no health facilities in Nigeria.”
“Foreign companies will be falling over themselves (one another) to come and invest here if we get the 2023 elections right.”
“…given the lame-duck posture of the opposition parties, the APC simply held sway from the onset (outset) of the current democratic dispensation.”
“Reactions on (to) the Pope’s visit, however successful, were mixed in Egypt, a country inhabited by a predominantly Muslim population.”
“Prior to the Pope’s visit, Egyptian Catholics have (had) opted out of the….”
“The first part was published last week Friday.” (THE GUARDIAN, March 3): either last Friday or Friday, last week.
“Vigilante (Vigilance) groups, committed to the enforcement of the by-law, are being set up.” (Source: as above)
“Some of these areas include producing enough food to feed our teaming (teeming) population.”
“Rather, the money, including the N200 million per state released for special purposes, was diverted to other uses.” We certainly do not need the last three words in the extract, having been taken care of by ‘diversion’. Do you subscribe to commonsense?
The next three blunders are from DAILY TRUST of March 3: “Unless the detonating mechanism of extremist religious chauvinism is diffused.” Get it right: defused (not diffused).
“They have decided to sheath their machetes and seek vengeance no more. “ Noun: sheath; verb: sheathe.
THISDAY of March 3 requires reformation of four lines: “The sources of revenue in a city like Lagos is very important.” Still on errors of attraction (more below): sources… are.
“…business downturn resulting to (in) drive-wandering.”
“…the rapaciousness of project contractors increase (increases) the country’s debt burden.”
“Senior civil servants’ union berate junior counterparts” Inside business: union berates.
THE GUARDIAN of March 3 questioned linguistic rules twice: “It’s the poet feared most, knowing fully (full) well that one of the….”
“The agitated crowd, who had been whipped to hysteria, demanded for his head.…” To avoid mayhem, delete ‘for’ from the extract.
”…and which provides a noble and humanistic framework for relations between the state and citizens in (on) our continent.”
“But in the welter of these realignment of forces….” Re-thinking development: this realignment of forces.
VANGUARD of March 3 circulated three goofs: “The fear along the room and corridor (corridors) of power of a sovereign national conference.…”
“It is not in doubt that most of the commuters in the luxurious (luxury) buses that ply in the night.…”
“…Aba traders constitute a large proportion of the passengers on commercial aircrafts (aircraft) that fly….”
“Major reorganization of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which may lead to mass retirement and sack of its men and officers, now looms.” Get it right: a major reorganization or major reorganizations, as context demands.
“One of the most outrageous abuses occured.…” Spelling in the lurch: occur, occurrence, occurred.
“I do not buy the argument that the advent of electronic mails and network computers have rendered postal services absolute.” Not yet time for structural proximity: the advent of electronic mails and network computers has (not have).
“In doing this, however, he must be faithful to the mandate of the ECOWAS Heads of Government under whose platform he operates.” Agenda: on (not under) whose platform he operates.