YOU are welcome today: “…a chapter that eventually brought me into what has stock (stuck) as my life (life’s) identity, journalism.”
“Farmers-herders crisis: Uzodinma, Bagudu, Badaru seek unity, peaceful co-existence.” Challenges of insecurity: Farmers, herders’ crisis
“We appreciate all you do, through your sound teachings and advices, to see leaders and businesses achieve their full potentials while contributing positively to humanity.” (Full-page congratulatory advertorial by Oxford Group, THISDAY, February 6). A rewrite: We appreciate all you do, through your sound teachings and pieces of advice (non-count), to see leaders and businesses achieve their full potential (potentialities or potential, which abhors inflection)…
“Sunsets for veteran journalist, irrepressible politician” Get it right: Sunset for veteran journalist or sun sets for…If Prince Tony Momoh were to be alive, he would have chastised the headline caster!
“EFCC grills varsity VC over alleged N260m contract scam” (News around the city, February 3) ‘Varsity VC’ smacks of stark illiteracy! Do we have VCs in other institutions apart from universities?
“Abubakar, former NAF Chief (another comma) fly (flies) out of service” (Source: as above)
“…on the loss of our bossom (bosom) friend and brother…a (an) honest and seasoned technician and administrator.” I suspect the spelling challenge arises from ‘boss’!
“2023: Can the opposition seize the opportunity?” From the other side: you take (not seize) opportunity. ‘Seize opportunity’ is a piece of Americanism.
“N23bn monthly allocation crash inter-bank rates” Business English: allocation crashes.
“2023: Anglican bishop wants vigilante groups to help policemen protect ballot boxes” In the interest of eschatology: vigilance group.
“Today, it is becoming increasing (increasingly) clearer that a free and fair election is possible in Nigeria….” This is sheer cerebral infantilism!
“…this he applied in fighting the cause of oppressed (the oppressed). He was Igbo (an Igbo) leader.”
“Itse Sagay accuses Supreme Court justices of setting bad precedence in the country’s judicial history.” There is a morphological distinction between ‘precedence’ and ‘precedent’, which applies to the extract.
“Economics, as if the poor matters!” Voice of the nation: the poor matter!
“Before independence, you don’t lobby to (sic) made a judge.” Get it right: you didn’t lobby to be made a judge.
From this medium a fortnight ago comes the next farcical entry: “Are the leaders calling for prayers so that we learn not to kill ourselves….” Truth in defence of freedom: we learn not to kill one another.
“…it was common (a common) sight to see a classroom crowded with between 150-200 children….” Either: between 150 and 200 or from 150 to 200 (depending on context). No mix-up.
“The grassroot man of Oyo politics” Basic knowledge: grassroots man.
“We invested heavily on their training and welfare and so should be told what led to their death…” Ejigbo crash: we invested heavily in their training…
“Festo, as I use (used) to call him…”
“The church…was filled to capacity last weekend shortly before the lockdown as…” We cannot mention ‘capacity’ when a hall is filled as that fact is implied. According to my copious dictionaries and reference books on the English language, fill means “to occupy the whole space of…” This also applies to “filled to the brim”, et al.
“What the church has joined together…” Ancient English: joined together. Modern version: joined.
“In the area of health, Aliyu has moved in to reduce maternal mortality through the introduction of anti-natal (what!) care for pregnant women…” “…ante-natal for pregnant women…”? Should it have been for which other women or, worse still, men?
“Petrol tanker crushes 1 to death” Even a learner’s dictionary will educate you on the fatalistic nature of “crushing”. So, the tanker crushes one. And in headline casting, numbers one to nine are written in words, while 10 and above are written in figures.
“The statistics are here, I can give it to you.” Back to school: I can give them to you, No discord, please.
“…multiple allocations which has (sic) lingered for over 10 years is (sic) finally put to rest.” No further comment.
“Of all the first generation (a hyphen, please) universities, OAU is arguably the one that was able to preserve its known ideology for the longest.” I do not agree with the usage of “arguably” by a majority of Nigerian writers. The explanation I got from one of the country’s frontline editors recently was not convincing: when you have points to justify your claims, it becomes arguable and when there are no justifications, you employ “unarguably.” If you are sure of your statement, make it declarative by jettisoning “arguably.” And if you are unsure, do not make claims. If you do, be ready to argue it elsewhere when confronted (not in your contribution). For the avoidance of doubt, “arguable” (adjective) and its adverb (arguably) mean: ”…for which good, if not necessarily convincing, reasons may be found/open to doubt/not certainly, but reasonably held to be.” (Source: THE NEW LEXICON WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, 2018) My grouse about this excerpt is the intrinsic element of doubt.
“…Guinea finally elects a president in an election that witnessed series of crises and postponements.” The long road to democracy: a series of crises and postponements.
“In one breathe, there are those who are still…” Take a fresh breath before we continue.
“…it was a soothing balm.” What else do balms do apart from soothing?
“It is however a consensus opinion that the home, that is parents, should bear the prime responsibility of introducing the subject.” For grammatical sanity, jettison ‘opinion’ from the extract.
“The occasion was held in Victoria Island.” Get it right: on Victoria Island.
“The accused policeman was said to have actually demanded for N10,000 before he was…” Simply delete ‘for’ from the excerpt.
“Bishop advocates for more states” ‘Advocacy’ in the verbal context does not take ‘for’.
“Two arrested over heroin seizure at Lagos Port” Very soon, I will arrest THISDAY editors for (not over) juvenile mistakes.
“…she opens up on how she gained entry into the world of make-belief….” Grammar is not make-believe.
“…the food situation in the continent…” Classical writing: on the continent
“Conspicuously absent at the wedding reception was former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida and his children…” Three issues: ‘Conspicuously absent’ is sheer illiteracy! (Absent at the…). ‘Military president’ can only come from a confused head. We can talk of military leader or military ruler (not the contradictory and vexatious extract). Finally, IBB and his children deserve plural treatment (were, not was).
“Producing ice-blocks without tears” (English without tears: ice cubes (not blocks).
“Unfortunately, the reality in Nigeria today is: who will throw the first stone?” The hard fact: cast the first stone.
“Customs intercept tanker load (what happened to the hyphen?) of drugs” The Nigeria Customs Service is an entity. So, NCS intercepts…
NEXT WEEK: Professorial and doctoral interventions, among others.