THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER, of November 4 offered readers a diseased headline: “Monarch passes vote of confidence on (in) Fashola”
Let us continue with a visit to Champion House, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos: “Soldiers take over troubled spots” Let peace reign: trouble spots.
“Post election violence spreads” Towards a better life for the people: Post-election violence….
“Man killed in car accident” Why not ’’Man dies in car accident?’’ He was not killed!
“President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, expressed sadness over the sporadic violent protest (protests)….”
The next headline blunder is from last week’s edition of this medium: “Police arrest four over Maiduguri explosion” Do we arrest the entire editorial team for (not over) lexical recklessness?
“Bribery enthrones mediocrity and crucify merit.” The Tabernacle of bribery crucifies merit.
“Gang up against Buhari will fail” Phrasal verb: gang up; noun: gang-up (which applies here).
“We were treated to another similar incidence.…” All newspapers should know the difference between ‘incidence’ and ‘incident’ (which applies here).
“Although the governor’s last minute romance with the main opposition party is held against him.…” Saturday People: last-minute (take note of the hyphen) romance
“Thus, a core investor…with regards to optimal use of the machinery.…” Either: as regards or with regard to….
“In the heydays of the goggled General when fuel was often unavailable….” Stranglehold of oil workers: heyday (uncountable).
“Last year, many houses of the Igbo in Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos, were razed down.…” No word abuse: simply razed (not razed down). Discard the contrary views by some registers!
Yet another headline gaffe: “Restrictions on inter-bank foreign exchange trading is (are) killing the market.”
“Armed robbers now have good company–street thugs and unofficial vigilante groups.” (THE GUARDIAN, November 13) Democracy as a disincentive: vigilance group.
“Anambra 2017: Group points accusing fingers at INEC….” People in the news: Group points the finger. No obtuse addition.
“Nigeria is at a crossroad” (VANGUARD, October 20) Fixed expression: at a/ the crossroads.
“Stationeries badly needed by.…” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, November 2) ‘Stationery’ is non-count.
“But what appears criminal is the desire of these off-springs of.…” (DAILY TRUST, November 13) ‘Offspring’ does not take any inflection.
The next three goofs are from VANGUARD of the above edition:”…the process of economic integration from which will emerge an economic block (bloc).…”
“There is a tussle going on between these two (would it have been three?) arms of government.”
“Nigerian leaders and politicians have continued to adopt and acquiesce to (in).…”
“Globacom sets (set) to rule domestic market” (Nigerian Tribune, November 14)
“I have been briefed that the wrangling among the leaders of PDP are (is) over.” (SUNDAY VANGUARD, November 12)
BusinessDay of November 14 disseminated an embarrassing impropriety: “Now that the Police has (have) taken over the supervision of the….”
“…and ensure it does not reoccur again.” (THE GUARDIAN, November 14) ‘Reoccur again’? Run for cover, my dear reader! Just recur. Recur, recurrence, recurrent. Occur, occurred, occurrence.
“Lack of incentives anger (angers) local manufacturers” (Source: as above)
“They provide temporary relief.” (Source: as above) ‘Temporary relief? I strongly object to that clumsy expression because there is no permanence in ‘relief’.
THE PUNCH of October 20 circulated three solecisms: “The patients pay for each act of ‘healing’ through their noses.” Get it right: they pay through the nose.
“At the launching programme (launch) in Abuja.…”
“A cursory look at the figures show (shows) that.…”
Daily Sun of October 19 circulated copious shibboleths: “The end point is that people wait for between three to five hours to pay in their drafts.” English without tears: between three and five.
“With the attainment of the highest office at any strata of government….” Singular: stratum; plural: strata.
“It may be difficult for Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu to resurrect again politically after his disastrous outing in the presidential elections.” Please, yank off ‘again’ in the interest of lexical sanity and our democracy.
“They better not rely on INEC.” This way: They had better not rely on INEC.
“Like (As) we had said at various forums….”
“So, the government cannot ask the Supreme Court to interprete the law.” Spell-check: interpret. (Source: as above)
“…the reduction in the number of road accidents and causalities.” This way: casualties.
“…to that extent, we shall congratulate its authors for (on) hearing the deafening cry of Nigerians for an effective legislature.” (Nigerian Tribune, October 20)
“…were simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.” ‘Fallout’ is uncountable.
“…appeal to the discredited tactics of past times also wreak havoc on the procedural sanctity of the democratic path.” (Vanguard, November 2) Notes of disquiet: pastime.
“Out-of-control trailer crushes 15 persons to death” When people are crushed by a trailer, they cannot be alive except there is divine intervention. So, ‘crushed to death’ smacks of lexical insensitivity.
The following faulty extracts of November 13: “Police arrest 5 foreigners over (for) cattle grazing”
“We will proudly present for Mr. President’s commissioning (inauguration) two 700-metre long (700-metre-long) dual carriage flyover bridges along the trans-Saharan Africa Highway….”
“A delegate of the PDP in Ogun State…slumped and died in the early hours of Thursday in an hotel in Abeokuta, the state capital.” This is certainly the old school genre. New class: a hotel.
“Police absolves security agencies of electoral fraud” It would be astounding for the Nigeria Police to indict fellow state gangsters! And, of course: police absolve (not absolves).
“…even if it means going extra miles….” I will go the extra mile (note the fixed expression) to ensure that this column appears unfailingly every week.
And like (as) someone said recently….”
“…in the evacuation of dead bodies to mortuary.” On a clinical note: corpses instead of ‘dead bodies’ and a mortuary or mortuaries, depending on the fact of the matter.
“…as well as condoning the place and evacuating the dead and survivors to nearest health facilities.” Bomb blasts and conflicting figures: cordoning off (take note of the spelling and correct entry) the place.
“There seems (seem) to be stiff competitions among the foreign media and local press as well as….”
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Author: Uche Atuma