Writers’ Freudian Slips


BUSINESSDAY of November 9 leads the pack today with three goofs: “…that effort at sensitizing Nigerians on (to) the essence of the Vision 20-2020 is well in an advanced stage.” What is the definition of the cliché ‘advanced stage’? Any form of public communication—gestural, written or verbal—that is subject to individualistic interpretations is not efficient and effective.

“NPA beefs-up (beefs up) security at port…”

From the business newspaper, we move to DAILY TRUST of November 9 which bungled three headlines: “ACF urges Boko Haram to sheath swords” Truth is a burden: sheathe swords.

“New car owners stranded over plate numbers” Aso Chronicle: number plates

“New Year bomb victim dissatisfied over (with) treatment abroad”

VANGUARD of November 9 also contributed two gaffes to the pool of headline infelicities: “UNAD staff arrested over (for) missing N100m”

“Heartland, Enyimba reignites rivalry” Midweek Sports: why the discord?

As usual, our own charity begins midway, instead of at home, as we open to last week’s edition of this medium which disseminated multifarious blunders, particularly from its Editorial column: “Muslims in all continents of the world would today celebrate Eid-El-Kabir.” My comment: on all continents. This is one of the many writers’ Freudian slips.

“…at (in) the nick of time to provide him a white ram that was slaughtered as replacement (a replacement) of (for) his son, Ismael (Ismail/Ishmael)”

“It is hoped that those engaging in acts inimical of (to) the nation’s corporate progress….”

“We seize today’s occasion of….” For Americanism and all its informalities, this is acceptable. But, in formal (standard) British entry—which I strongly advocate—you take or use an occasion/opportunity. ‘Seize’ has an inherent, elemental force (connotatively and denotatively). Exit the Editorial for other pages in defence of freedom.

“Entrepreneurs team-up (team up) with Rivers on investment”

“…the intrigues has (have) just begun.”

“Each passing day I pray that the lord (Lord) will wipe my tears, heal the wound and the pains that your sudden departure have (has) left in my heart.”

“I still thank God because I believe that you are resting peacefully in His bossom (bosom).” And this, by the way: in God’s bosom, peace is integral and guaranteed. My condolences, the avoidable slips notwithstanding

“We are however rest assured that you are been (being) taken care of and that one day, we will meet to part no more.”

“…many Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions over (to) this development.”

Leadership of November 5 circulated a few errors: “The herbalist allegedly demanded for his wife’s eyeball….” Delete ‘for’ in pursuit of lexical excellence.

“…who is currently representing Epe Federal Constituency in the National Assembly….” Who can tell me what ‘currently’ is doing here?

“OGBC begins 24hours (sic) broadcast” Get it right: 24 hours’ broadcast or 24-hour broadcast

“Nigerian women are not mediocre” Our women are not mediocrities or mediocrists. Put differently, Nigerian women are not mediocre people (adjectival parlance).

“Nigeria’s First Lady and wife of the president Aisha Buhari….” (DAILY TRUST, October 28) Obviously, ‘Nigeria’s First Lady’ or ‘the president’s wife’ is enough—not both at the same time! (This observation was contributed by Lucky Ihanza)

The next four unpardonable indiscretions are from Nigerian Tribune of October 26: “Several (Many, preferably) innocent Nigerians have been killed by uniform (uniformed) men at checkpoints for failure to give bribe (bribes).”

“He got the woman’s phone number and texted (text-messaged) her N500 phone (recharge) credit.” Skip Nigerian Tribune Editorial and navigate to Compass.

“…until such a time his adversary is able to proof (prove) to the court that he is not the rightful king.” (Nigerian Tribune Features, October 26)

“Police contributes (contribute) to sexual violence in Nigeria, says Olufemi” (Source: as above)

“I doff my hat for the resilience of those who staked their necks to confront the excesses of the military.” Dogma at the barricades: I doff my hat to (not for) newspaper contributors, the occasional Freudian slips notwithstanding. You can also take off your hat….

“Others just ridiculed me outrightly.” A protester at the American embassy: Others just ridiculed me outright.

“New govt. to be sworn-in January 29” Again, phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.

“NCP raises alarm over alleged harrasments of market women” Across the nation: harassment. Also note that ‘harassment’ is uncountable, unlike ‘embarrassment’.

“…but the incidence rather than subdue you, (sic) should instead spur you to greater hights (heights).” The human angle: incident (not incidence). ‘Instead’ has no function here.

“Gather every members of your family.” Either every member of your family or all members of your family

My dear reader, please note that ‘banter’ is uncountable.

“…the chilling story of Calabar’s rival gang members who not only slaughter themselves (one another) but.…”

“Eagles confront Malawians under scorching sun” This way: in (not under) the scorching sun.

‘”In times past, the media might even have queried the double standards.” Professionalism: double standard.

“We maintain that like every other institutions established by law….” Already addressed

“Customs intensify air border patrol” No news: Customs intensifies.

“PHCN has (had) earlier indicated that progress made towards stabilizing power supply has been reversed.”

“Ringim who was on a one-day working visit to Kano to round up (off) his familiarization tour of police formations in the country.…” I can understand the mix-up because of IGP’s involvement!

“2022 Polls: INEC chiefs hold last minute (last-minute) talks”

“UNIJOS alumni holds convention” Yellow card: alumni hold, but alumni association holds.

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