The GUARDIAN of September 18 welcomes us to the hall of infamy this week: “The people displaced by the flood apart from being exposed to the inclement weather of mosquito bites resulting into (in) widespread of….”
“The feeling is that many don’t want to be seen to take a position which would be interpreted as confrontational and as such they have resulted (resorted) to lobbying prominent figures outside government to….”
“These 17 luxury cars and SUVs of the late Alhaji Abubakar Audu which will make any Arabian Sheik grin (green or green with envy) are parked in Audu’s GRA Jos adopted home.
“The actual name of the person expected to chairman (chair/preside over) this occasion is….”
Wrong: atimes; right: at times (two words)
“Those who have the power to release the suspect but are passing the bulk (buck) to the courts should be informed that it is against the national interest to refuse to release….”
“The former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, explained that it was not the first time that banks would be liquidated and that the history of bank failure in the country dated (dates) back to 1958 or 1959.” Note: dates back to or dates back from is a stock expression.
“In reaction to the leaflets being circulated, the Kano State Commissioner of Police…made a radio and television broadcast telling the people to ignore the leaflets which he described as the handiwork of mischieve (mischief) makers.” Special note: make-believe (not make-belief).
“When the storm rages, men can do nothing about the storm, but when the storm has seized (ceased), its destruction can be redressed.”
Theoretical linguists, curriculum experts and “educationalists” (educationists or educators), working together or separately, have been busy putting forward suggestions for language education reform. Note especially: “educationalist”, like “unwieldy” or “invitee” or “indisciplined”, is not in any respected dictionary. These comic words were invented by Nigerians.
“Armed robbers again jolted the commercial city of Lagos last week Friday (last Friday/Last Friday week or on Friday, last week).”
“Students write exams half naked (half dressed/half clothed/half covered or half clad, or naked/bare to the waist).”
“But like (as) I said….”
“Funeral obsequies…” Just obsequies
“Christian wake keep service” Call to eternal glory: Christian wake—not ‘wake keep service’ or ‘wake keeping’ as commonly and incorrectly used.
Last Monday’s edition of THE NATION almost crippled the English language with the following gaffes: “Iheanacho, former minister released” Without another comma after ‘minister’ it means two persons were involved, which was not the case.
“…the need to significantly increase public spending in (on) health and education (educational, preferably) services.”
“Security agencies, commission assure of peaceful, secured polls” Nigerian news: who did they assure on secure—not ‘secured’—polls?
“Hurray!!! (You do not need more than one exclamation mark no matter the depth of excitement!) The chairman of our great party is 77 Birthday (today)”
“That will be the icing on the cake and a true deterrence (deterrent) to others who might be planning to replicate the act.”
“As members of the late president’s inner cabinet, they practically dictate (dictated) the pace, pulse and policy direction of government.”
“There are different types of bags in vogue now….” No glamour in this communicative business: ‘vogue’ typifies ‘currency’ (now).
“There are designer branded ones like….” Box bags for all seasons: designer-branded ones….
“Another advantage is the room (roomy) space.”
“Some guys have said that you can (could) find everything in a woman’s bag….”
Lastly from THE NATION ON SUNDAY under review: “Congratulation (Congratulations): My wife, Suzzette, and I most heartily congratulate you for (on/upon) your worthy contributions….” “Once again, congratulations for (sic) a well deserved (well-deserved) national honour.”
Vanguard Special Report of September 14 fumbled: “Our grouse with (about) the ICJ judgment, GTA”
“After two years on (in) the saddle, NFF board gives self pass mark…” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Banner, September 12)
“This conclusion was arrived at as history is trying to repeat itself again as it is wont to do….” Delete ‘again’.
“However does the separation of powers that are (is) discernible in government textbooks operate in real life.”
“It will present events in the two chambers, record achievements, gossips and….” ‘Gossip’ is non-count.
“The consensus of opinion in the country today….” I insist on ‘consensus’ (without ‘of opinion’).
“Saturday promises to be a historic day in the annals of the country’s history.” Either: the annals of the country or the country’s history. The late Mr. Bayo Oguntuase, a popular and respected language activist, believed the extract is correct, but I disagree.
“Except round pegs are put in round holes, the nation will be the looser (loser) for it.”
“Whatever happens, the shooting of the minister from our initial analysis might tempt us to point all the accusing fingers toward the west.” Before the darkness: point the finger at the west.
“Osun police impounds N650m worth of cars.” Get it right: Osun police impound….
“US terrorist suspect to plead innocent” This way: innocence.
“If you have crisis, you will sit down in a roundtable and resolve the difference.” Either a crisis or crises—depending on context—and resolve the differences.
“This, therefore, means that the power and authority of governments become government of all people not just of their party faithfuls (faithful).”
“Communities demand for new council in Yobe” For the last time, ‘demand’ as a verb does not admit ‘for’ except in noun applications.
“If 42 years after the war, there is still what is called abandoned property, and the Igbo is (are) still….”
“The police on September 20 gave details of its preliminary investigations into.…” Newspaper of the Year: their preliminary investigations….
“One had expected the government to find out where the arms and ammunitions Boko Haram members use come from.” Breeding murderers: ‘ammunition’ is non-count.
“Also, corporate bodies and wealthy individuals have been falling over themselves (one another) to host the Paralympians.”
“For this reason, it is an affront on (to) democracy and representative government for the PDP leader to demand dissolution of the senate.…”
“You must have read all manners (manner) of eulogies and tributes.”
“The rumour is still making (doing or going) the rounds, an evidence that the rumour mill is in good and perfectly working condition in our dear country.”
“We probably would have stomached the distasteful script if nobody has (had) thought hired assassins (assassins are usually hired!) should be included in the cast.”
“The relationship between the politicians and the administrators have (has) been known to either make or mar….”
“Lagos 2023 polls: five groups kick-off Sanwo-Olu’s re-election campaign” Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation. For how long shall we continue to harp on this, gentlemen of the press?
“On Thursday, the union suspended its strike after an Abuja high court has (had), in my view, correctly, declared it illegal, its advert stating its grouse against (about) the government was published in some dailies.”