Thisday on Saturday of June 16 welcomes us today: “Like I said….” Get it right: As I said….
The Guardian, Saturday, June 18, takes over from the preceding medium with this juvenile infraction:
“To be concluded next week Saturday” Short story: next Saturday
“Out of control (Out-of-control) Boko Haram kills dozens in Kano Mosque”
“FRSC, plate numbers and drivers’ licence” Get it right: number-plates
“A well deserved (well-deserved) honour”
“But we should never lose sight of the fact that like every voracious entrepreneur who has invested billions of dollars on (in) cement plants….”
“Credit Bureaux records (record) 26 million registered borrowers”
“The health workers strike” Conscience, nurtured by truth: workers’ strike
“Monetary policy committee at crossroads” This way: at a/the crossroads
“Having served under a military regime…he needs to bath in the Yoruba River for forgiveness.” Noun: bath; verb: bathe.
“Just before you ponder about this Owerri revelation….” ‘Ponder’ may take ‘on’ or ‘over’, not ‘about’. It’s even more economical and elegant to use it without embellishments.
“When we hear of people talk about glory….” Get it right: hear of people talking…or hear people talk about glory
“Lack of facilities threaten course accreditation at LACOED” The verb here should be singular.
“What is good for the goose can equally be said to be good for the gander.” What is sauce (not good)…
“Out of 35 years of the nation’s political independence, the military had been on (sic) the leadership saddle for 25 years.” Democracy In the saddle.
“CPC to clampdown on illegal microfinance banks” Phrasal verb: clamp down (two words).
“An acknowledged scholar, a distinguished statesman and a team leader per excellence” (Full Page Congratulatory Advert, THISDAY, March 25) Get it right: leader par excellence.
“New trends in electioneering campaigns” Politics Today: just electioneering or political campaigns. ‘Electioneering campaign’ is sheer verbiage! ‘Electioneering’ encompasses campaign and other related electoral issues.
“INEC chair asks SSS to crackdown on violent politicians” Noun: crackdown; phrasal verb: crack down (which applies here).
“Some countries have taken tobacco manufacturers to court for the damages their products cause.” The will to die: ‘damage’ is uncountable, except in reparative applications for indemnity.
“With the launching (launch) of the poverty alleviation (a hyphen) programme by the Federal Government, not a few Nigerians desire to see it effectively in place.“
“…what happened was that somebody filed a writ of summon.“ This way (singular): a writ of summons; plural: summonses.
“It is the Federal Board that is always guilty of that, because it is them who take riff-raffs as welfare officers.” (Nigerian Tribune, May 22) ‘Riff-raff’, just like ‘stuff’, is uncountable.
“Modern technology has reduced the world into (to) a hamlet where the inhabitants are their brothers’ keepers.” This way: brother’s keeper (fixed idiom), irrespective of the number of people involved.
“The coincidence in the timing of all those sleazy gossips in soft-sell magazines and the beginning of his fashion parade….” ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable.
“More overaged players for youth soccer“(Sunday Tribune, June 14) Get it right: overage players.
“Residents of some of the troubled spots in Libya in disarray” (SATURDAY CHAMPION, May 26) Witness to lexical mayhem: trouble spots.
“…rummaging all the bags and ransacking every nook and corner.” (Source: as above) Stock expression: nook and cranny.
Leadership of May 21 disseminated seven improprieties: “The police requires (require) a redeemer who can uplift the Force from the battering it (they) suffered during the long years of militarization.”
“I inquired from those that appear to know and they said that the president is (was) roaming the country in the name of campaigns.”
“There is (are) no electricity, no security, no water, no roads, no health facilities in Nigeria.”
“Foreign companies will be falling over themselves (one another) to come and invest here if we get the next elections right.”
“…given the lame-duck posture of the opposition parties, the PDP simply held sway from the onset (outset).”
“Reactions on (to) the Pope’s visit, however successful, were mixed in Egypt, a country inhabited by a predominantly Muslim population.”
“Prior to the Pope’s visit, Egyptian Catholics have (had) opted out of the….”
“The first part was published last week Friday.” (THE GUARDIAN, May 28) Monday politics: either last Friday or Friday, last week.
“Vigilante (vigilance) groups, committed to the enforcement of the by-law, are being set up.”
“Some of these areas include producing enough food to feed our teaming (teeming) population.”
Please note that “evidence” is both countable and uncountable, but, in a law case, we correctly say or write: a piece of evidence/ pieces of evidence, some evidence/enough evidence/a mass of evidence, etc. We cannot afford to have the mediocre. The mediocre cannot teach/communicate is correct. “Reoccur”, like “reoccurrence”, is Americanism; “bus station” is Briticism while “Motor Park” is Nigerianism. “Host-guest” is Briticism while “invitor-invitee” is Americanism. Usage is king. Keep smiling!
This column is the editor’s purgative. I agree with pundits that politicians run “neck and neck” (not neck-to-neck), but may also run “head-to-head”.
The “Social Circuit” in THE NATION of June 18 described celebrity stylist Veronica Odeka as “most sort after.…” It should be “sought after”
There is a challenge with some English words: ‘Evidence’ is both countable and uncountable.
“Benue assures on abandoned project” Just tell readers who the state assured.
“A recent report on food related (a hyphen) ailments show (shows) that in many parts of the world….”
“Unfortunately, however, I, and many other Nigerians have been infuriated by our servants….” In pursuit of linguistic orderliness: many other Nigerians and I. The concept of the cart and the horse applies to language usage, too.
“But all our future blessing would be achieved through waiting in the Lord.” If you are after God’s heart, you wait on, not in, the Lord.
“Before embarking on the strike action….” You can as well embark on the ‘strike inaction’!
“It was as though both informants were mischievous people who had an affinity in (for) discrediting the preacher.”
“The vigilante group visited instant judgment on the thief and sent him to the great beyond.” In the name of excellence: vigilance group.
“Sixteen people were killed and two others seriously injured in a ghastly (fatal) accident which occurred along (on) the Bauch-Auchi road on Saturday.” If there were casualties, it follows that it was a fatal, not a ghastly, accident. The mishap did not drag along the road, but occurred at a spot on the road.
“Some of the despotic regimes thrown up in (on) the continent did worse things than was experienced under colonialism.”
“A weekly magazine took a professional risk and charged the speaker for (with) forgery.”
“…the same-day election is being proposed by the senate as part of the antidote for….” This way: antidote to….