DO not say or write ‘5 a.m. in the morning’ or ‘6 p.m. in the evening’. Just 5 a.m. or 5 p.m. or 5 in the morning or evening—as the case may be: the former is strictly the morning belt, while the latter represents evening
Let us welcome Blueprint to this column for the first time this year! Its October 20 edition committed an unpardonable blunder: “Gunmen storms peace meeting, kill 10 monarchs” (Front page banner, October 20)—this is simply embarrassing! The half-literacy should have been completed thus: kills 10 monarchs
Nigerian Tribune Opinion Page of October 5 holds the key to the Hall of Lexical Shame this week: “Research reveals that when sexual and other crimes against young and under-aged girls happen, the victims are shy or scared to speak.” Still on Abia gang rape saga: underage girls.
Three additional errors from the above edition: “Strike actions as albatross of education system” A rewrite: Strikes/work stoppages/industrial actions as albatross of educational system
Now, the last entry from Nigerian Tribune under review: “…in addition to the lost (loss) of millions of naira….”
“Police foils (foil) bank robbery” (THISDAY, October 4) Birds of a feather: “Police declares (declare) Zamfara CSO missing” (Vanguard, October 5)
“Customs score (scores) scanner providers high” (Blueprint, October 20)
“And no fewer than 17,164 of the affected ATM, according to the NPS boss, had spent between five to 17 years….” (THISDAY, October 4) Between five and 17—and this from the headline: prisoners’ swap (not prisoners swap)!
Still on THISDAY: “Army: The pledge to stamp-out Boko Haram” We must stamp out media gaffes.
Lastly: “…they turned off the lights while we were all still in (on) the premises.”
DAILY INDEPENDENT of October 4 dimmed three headlines: “Police arrest 7 over (for) killings in Zamfara”
“The only language FG understands is strike, says ASUU chairmen (chairman)”
“NCC seals off Cobranet, confiscates equipments” ‘Equipment’ is uncountable.
“Plateau State Polytechnic matches on” No wonder there is a crash in educational rating: the poly marches on
“Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze…growth is continious” (Source: as above) Spell-check: continuous
Guest contribution: “Living at (on) the fringes” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY, October 17)
“The family of…announces with deep sorrow but gratitude to Almighty God the death of our son…following a ghastly road accident….” My sympathies quite all right, but the English language cannot die: a fatal (not ghastly) vehicular accident. And for the umpteenth time round, ‘sorrow but gratitude to Almighty God’ cannot—and will never as long as there is seed time and harvest time—co-function in any circumstance. What is amiss with our spirituality? Our God does not inhabit in sorrowful environments. So, as His children, let us give thanks to Him in all situations. He knows best why tragedies befall us. Even in the face of fatalities, obituaries or related issues should be handled with cheerfulness, joy, happiness, satisfaction, angelic punctuation, heavenly intervention…and (not but) gratitude to God, we….sounds eschatological? Reactions are welcome to this lexico-spiritual intellectualization of Christianity. I insist that this is a contradictory and blasphemous obituary!
“The CBN said that (sic) plans are (sic) underway to….” (Vanguard, September 30) A rewrite: The CBN said plans were underway to….
“Risk managers…to forestall a reoccurrence of issues that led to the crisis in the financial sector” BUSINESS/MONEY GUIDE: recurrence.
“Proper funding, panacea to housing deficit—Experts” Mortgage Finance: panacea for (not to) housing deficit
The next two contributions are from Nigerian Tribune of September 29: “It has performed creditably well….” Let us end it at ‘creditably’.
“Despite price losses that outweighed gains…result to (in) a slight increase in market capitalization by N5 billion” (THE GUARDIAN, September 29)
“Africans converge in Gambia to discuss security challenges” Crime watch: converge on The Gambia.
“My dear and beloved Speaker, youthful brethren and compatriot….” The Turf Game: youthful brother. ‘Brethren’ (plural): members of a religious group, among other collective meanings. And, of course, compatriots
“Where else does he expect public officers to feed if not on the poor masses who have refused to die?” (NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, September 29)
Are there rich masses (ordinary people)? No! Simply the masses
“Other guests expected at (on) the occasion include….” Alternatively: at the ceremony/event, but on the occasion.
“What about the students you don’t see who in (on) numerous Nigerian campuses swap novels or even recall the stories they read late into the night before bedtime?”
“In fact, he was one of the respected brains in the heydays of Action Group….” Exit this environment: ‘heyday’ is uncountable.
“It is not impossible for a cow that died on its way to the abattoir to still find its way to the market without the authorities raising an eyebrow or bringing the culprits to book.” Fixed expression: raise one’s eyebrows—not an eyebrow—which, of course, would be supernatural!
“… there should be an aggressive enlightenment campaign given that the deadline for replacement of all licences and plate numbers is one year.” Truth & Reason: number-plates.
“Onitsha-Enugu Highway rehabilitation ready soon—Minister” It is the road, not the rehabilitation, that would be ready soon, hopefully!
“It should also move a step forward by calling the aggressor to order and sanctioning same (the same).” (THISDAY COMMENT, September 2)
“The Nigeria Police is (are) now peopled with criminals….”
“…no effort should be spared in finding out who was responsible for it and sanctioning them accordingly.” (THE NATION COMMENT, September 20) My view: No effort should be spared in finding out those who were responsible for it and sanctioning them accordingly.
“Kebbi govt to extend amenities to boarder communities” (DAILY CHAMPION Online, September 19) Of course, there is a distinction between ‘boarder’ and ‘border’ (which applies here). Do we need to return to kindergarten classes?
“Get 5% discount on any of the LAPTOPS purchase @ any SLOT retail store….” All about image: laptops purchased.
A demonstration of loose thinking: “I’m not a man eater” A rewrite: I’m not a cannibal. A headline should be as firm as possible.
“Fear, anxiety grips Jos, as crisis ridden city await CDS arrival” The correct version: Fear, anxiety grip Jos, as crises-ridden city awaits CDS’ arrival!
“NLC mobilise for mass protest next week” Get it right: NLC mobilizes
“Live luxuriously…@ the heart of Abuja” From whatever perspective: in the heart of Abuja.
“She always demand for sex” This way: she always demands sex. As a verb, ‘demand’ does not take ‘for’—except as a noun.
“…the billionaire is taking the affair very serious (seriously).”
“The exercise, which may see about a third of the over 200,000 strong (a hyphen between the figure and the word) Federal Civil Service loosing (losing) their jobs….”
“This newspaper has consistently advocated for a comprehensive review of the cost of the machinery of government.” Let us delete ‘for’ in the interest of all stakeholders.
“Hitherto entry into the service has (had) been largely based on….”
“Ogungbo said the most important way to prevent epilepsy is (was) to offer early drug treatment….”
“Bendel Insurance Company, (sic) registration (RC6083) once prides (prided) itself as the number one trusted….”
“So long as the military and other security agencies’ presence are (is) seen on….” (THE NATION, September 16)
“To mark the day, there was (were) free health tests by….”
“The University of Lagos Multipurpose Hall A was filled to the brim with….” Check out the meaning of ‘fill’ in order to appreciate the redundancy of ‘to the brim’. Got the point?
“…the level of political consciousness and internet have (has) risen significantly.”
“The venue and time still remains unchanged.” Port Harcourt International Oil and Gas Summit & Exhibition 2021: ‘remains’ changes to ‘remain’.
“We regret any inconveniences this will course (sic) our esteemed speakers, valued partners and the participants.” Public notice: cause.
“Nigerian Navy pays last respect to…” For the naval gentleman: last respects.
“Depoliticing the judiciary” Get it right: depoliticizing.