Trouble, Not Troubled, Spot


Ebere Wabara

THE NATION FOREIGN NEWS PAGE of January 3 committed the worst blunder so far this year. First, the headline: “Assad’s wife, children caught trying to escape” Now the story: “Scroll down to see video of yesterday’s troop offensive.” Newsreel extracts for publication should be edited and not slothfully and slovenly slammed without any modicum of professionalism and regard for the reader.

“…although there may be some few flaws” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Politics, January 3) ‘Some’ and ‘few’ cannot co-function. Either: a few or some flaws.

“…journalists working in troubled spots around the world” (Editorial from the above edition) This way: trouble spots

“…for instance the Nigerian Union of Journalists, is largely, a trade union.” (Source: as above) Get it right: Nigeria Union of Journalists. Who is this journalist who does not know the correct name of his professional association?

THE GUARDIAN of January 3 vitiated its profile: “…it signifies the complete failure of the Police in its (their) duty of safeguarding lives and property (life and property or lives and properties—if classically applied).

More from Rutam House: “How to bouy Nigeria’s capital vote profile, by NACCIMA” Spell-check: buoy.

“His very presence in (on) a government premises in the company….”

“We’ve restored peace in (to) Rivers—Wike” (Vanguard, January 3)

“…hired assassins have done great havoc with guns acquired illegally.” (THE NATION, January 3) All mercantilist killers (assassins) are hired! So, there is no need padding/qualifying the obnoxious word. On the other hand, willful killing is murder.

“He said the trend is (was) that customers will (would) be served….” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY, January 23)

“Clerics calls (why?) for national confab (sic)” (Source: as above) The cleric called for a national conference. ‘Confab’ is an informal word.

“Former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late General Sani Abacha….” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Caption, January 3) A voice of your own: Former CSO to the (take note of the article) late….

“The magnitude of their losses also vary (varies).” (Saturday Tribune, January 22)

DAILY INDEPENDENT of January 7 did not disappoint its readers as it goofed on three occasions: “Minister, electricity workers in close-door meeting” No power holding here: closed-door meeting.

“It would interest some people to know that in spite of series of attacks….” Politics: a (take note of the article) series of attacks….

“We gave our all—Senegal captain” A voice of your own: Senegalese captain

DAILY INDEPENDENT of January 2 lit two errors: “Uzodinma urges Nigerians to be their brothers’ keepers” No news (fixed expression): brother’s keeper (plural context notwithstanding).

“Pogba looses (loses)…in Manchester United dispute”

“Ready for enhanced cashless?” In your best interest: Ready for enhanced mobile and internet banking? Alternatively: Ready for enhanced cashless banking/services/transactions…?

“160 Chadians arrested over (for) Kano attacks” (THISDAY, January 7) When will this goof stop?

“Embattled Adamawa Speaker sworn-in (sworn in) as Ag. Governor” Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation. Yet another recurrent misunderstanding that has been corrected repeatedly….

“…it was seen as a child of necessity aimed at restoring the primary education sub- sector which was in crisis (a crisis or crises) then back to a sound foundation.” Scrap ‘back’ to avoid being charged with word abuse. ‘Restoration’ has taken care of the verbiage.

“All that we have in the present Nigerian society is an hostile (a hostile) environment for the youths and children.” Either: youths or the youth.

“Having succeeded in intimidating their opponents at primaries, the electorate became a work-over….” A time to learn: walk-over.

“Thereafter he shifted to Malta Guinness where he warmed (wormed) his way into (to) the hearts of journalists and advertising agencies alike.”

“In Samaria of old, when Ben-Hadad, King of Aram, laid a siege on (to) the capital of Israel….”

“Anyone who monitored the mobilization of women in the last fifteen years in Nigeria could imagine positive results that could have been achieved if the country’s First Ladies have (had) been sincere.”

“Because of an improved revenue base, the governor said that the government is (was) in a good position….”

“What stops us from returning to the heydays (heyday) of the school.…?”

“This does not mean that a lady should not be congratulated for (on or upon) a safe delivery.”

“Many of the specie (species) had run amuck simply on the suspicion that another woman is nipping at the apple.”

“Industry players blamed the high cost of borrowing from the money market to (on) a number of factors.”

“…especially with regards to human development” This way: as regards or with regard to.

“While congratulating the Federal Government for (on) this bold move….”

“…as the North would be placed on an even keel or competing favourably with their kiths and kin in the South.” Fixed expression: kith and kin (plural)

“Tears of instability of power has (have) caused many a Nigerian to turn their attention to alternative sources of power supply.”

“The most interesting news item in recent times is the marching order given to the Nigerian Police” Stock phrase: marching orders.

“The police strenght is inadequate to cope with the security of a large population of 120 million Nigerians.” Spell-check: strength. And this: straight.

“News from reliable sources tend (tends) to portray a government tendency itching (do you mean inching?) towards sustenance.…”

Clean advert copies make a good read because of their usually interesting nature and editorial slant. “That way you don’t miss any of the action (actions) in….” (MultiChoice Nigeria advert)

“Please note that vehicle plate numbers with proofs of ownership are required for obtaining new Tags/Stickers.” This way: number-plates

“Solutions for a cash-lite Lagos” (FIDELITY Bank Full Page Colour Advert) Solutions to (not for)

“Cote d’ Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea in make or mar encounter” Sport: make-or-mar encounter

“…there was no indication that they were intending to build on a troubled spot.” Standard expression: trouble spot