“Police detonate bomb in Kaduna” As irredeemable as our policemen are, they cannot publicly detonate a bomb! What they do is to defuse it. Both the print and electronic media are guilty of this malapropism. ‘Detonation’ cannot be used in the reported circumstance: “Men of the Anti-Bomb Disposal Squad of the Kaduna State Police Command yesterday recovered and detonated another bomb at one of the gates leading to NNPC staff quarters….”
“More greaze (sic) to your elbow” (Full Page Congratulatory Advert for Senate President…) Beyond the spelling error (grease), it is ‘more power to somebody’s elbow’, but you can grease somebody’s palm, if you have corruptive tendencies!
“Glo’s associates relieve Man U-Barca match experience” Have a lovely week: relive. Even as an ardent supporter of the topmost English team, that was a mismatch now worsened by this local language poverty!
BUSINESSDAY WEEKEND Front Page headline of June 7 circulated two embryonic blunders that remind one of dissemblance: “Rescued banks, investors in last minute (last-minute) rush to tie-up (tie up) deals.”
“Ondo police discovers illegal arms factory” Police: plural verb always.
“But coming within a shared calender space of one another (a comma) it pointed to one fact….” This way: calendar.
“First Bank International helped liberalized (liberalize) the supply end of the financial market.…”
“For a party and leadership that had barely swim (swum) out of the blemish of the Dimeji Bankole’s corruption scam.” Furthermore, there is no need for ‘scam’ in the extract because of its dysfunctional input as it is clearly otiose: the Dimeji Bankole corruption.
“From indications, many elected political leaders in our democracy are still basking in the thrills of election victories, copious weeks after they’ve (they’d) been sworn in.”
“An irate Nigerian wondered why the honourable members were not made to refund the N4,000 daily sustainance allowance.…” Get it right: sustenance.
“Shortage of such materials as stationeries for printing order papers….” Some of the words that are uncountable: stationery, furniture, cutlery, heyday, jewellery, equipment and loot.
“In another incident, six suspected armed robbers, including a military personnel….” ‘Personnel’ is a collective noun. Rite it right, as Dr. Adidi Uyo will write: a military officer.
“…that you will be sent to jail to rotten and regret the day you embarked on those inglorious acts of perjury and forgery.” Adjective: rotten; verb: rot.
“Compatriot Bankole, can you imagine the great rupture your imprisonment would have caused in the placid relationship existing between the three arms of the Nigerian government….” ‘Between the three’ again? Just among the three, I beg you.
“The embarrassing development, according to a principal engineer who inspected the damages….” On guard: ‘damage’ is uncountable except in legalese.
“…defence pact between two unequal partners which was well open to blackmail, curtailment of freedom of speech at the price of democracy. Delete ‘two’ in the interest of linguistic currency. Don’t depend solely on dictionaries (some of which tolerate a few of these embarrassing contradictions); be inquisitive and exploratory in language usage, which is the hallmark of developmental communication. I always advocate lexical modernism as a way of life.
“Importers and customs agents may have deviced a new strategy to pay lower tariffs….” Noun: device; verb: devise (in Standard English usage). The excerpted muddle is the American version of it. The same thing applies to ‘advice’/‘advise’ and ‘practice’/‘practise’, among many other entries.
“This practice which makes the government to loss (lose) substantial revenue….”
“Therefore, confronting robbers who are armed with superior arms and ammunitions is only being irresponsible and foolhardy.” ‘Ammunition’ is non-count.
“Less than 5 per cent of Nigerians have assess (access) to telephone – even public telephones.”
“If two towns in every local government in the country is (are) provided with telecommunication facilities every month, within 4 to 5 years, the project would have been completed.”
“Philosophers literarily (literally) threw metaphysics through the front door and bolted it.”
“Firewood could just as well had (have) served as handsets.”
“Often, a simple telephone call could save lives that are needless (needlessly) shed on our highways daily.” A poser: is it lives that are shed or blood?
“A few weeks ago, an Abuja-based paper has (had) alleged that….”
“These brazen acts of banditry is (are) also enveloping secondary schools.…”
‘Even when he was answering questions from newsmen, he was still beaming with smiles.” Would the man have ‘beamed with a frown’? Please, delete ‘smiles’ to avoid ‘Bankole-gate’!
Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari is not responsible for the marginalization of Igbos (sic)” Reported speech: President Muhammadu Buhari was not responsible for the marginalization of Igbo.
“He observed that the September 22 OPEC meeting would be a break-or-make event that would determine the way the price goes.” Fixed expression: make or break.
“In any case, there is no doubt that the actions and perhaps inactions of Muhammadu Buhari since May 29 has (have) been giving a sizeable part of the South West serious concerns.”
“…force his friend to comply to (with) his own desires at the pains of being bundled into their horrendous cell.
“…to stimulate employment, build more roads and other social amenities or solve one social problem or the other.” Going by the contextual pluralism of the extract, the right expression should be: one social problem or another.
“Group assures on rancour free PDP Congress” Still on this recurrent blunder: who did the group assure? And this: rancour-free….
“Kalu condemns do or die politics” This way: do-or-die politics.
“The race to Government House in Kano in 2023 has began in earnest as….” Without any effort: The race has begun….
“The non Passage (sic) of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) did not help matters….” 2018 Review: The non-passage (take note of the hyphen and lower case ‘p’)….
“I seize (take) this opportunity to express gratitude to my readers for their commitment and patronage.” ‘Seize’ is an American aberration in the context applied..
“Ex-president Umaru Yar’Adua was on his sick bed….” No eavesdropping: in his sick bed. One of the clerics who allegedly visited him sat on his sick bed. Got the point?
“…a gubernatorial (governorship) aspirant in Ogun State under (on) the platform of….”
“…those who would have uttered (what?) them reduced everyone to spectators while they reached for each other’s throats.” Get it right: each other’s throat or one another’s throats (depending on context).