THE PUNCH of December 14 contained an elementary subject-verb inaccuracy: “Mirrorless (Mirror-less) cameras that manipulates (manipulate) shots and angles.”
From a reader, Mr. Nduka Uzuakpundu, a graduate of the old Daily Times: “There is nothing wrong with feminization of pronouns for countries (last week’s column). Ebere, it is right. You must accept it!” As a gender advocate, I insist on de-feminization of formal language. In colloquial or folkloric circumstances, it may appeal to me. More constructive contributions to this sexist controversy are welcome. Which is better: Nigeria, in her contribution to the global debate, demanded…or in its contribution…?
“…the governor was demanding for additional money which….” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY, December 12) Remove the ‘for’ flaw so that this medium can remain Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper. As a noun, it accepts ‘for’. Another ardent reader of this column, Mr. Charles Iyoha, is amazed that this misunderstanding still persists.
“As part of the deal (comma, please) she won a N1 million cash prize and contract with one of Nigeria’s leading modelling agency.” (Source: as above) In defence of freedom: agencies.
“The masquerades behind fuel subsidy” (SATURDAY INDEPENDENT, December 11) A voice of your own: masqueraders wear masquerades. Got it?
THE GUARDIAN of December 9 was without conscience as it nurtured copious lexical falsehoods: “Public university teachers on Sunday removed their robs….” Weekend: their robes.
“With these interrupts and incessant closures….” Verb: interrupt; noun: interruption.
“…including criminal activity (activities) such as internet fraud, arms and other trafficking and terrorist activity (activities).”
“But he discovered this one day and beat me up. I cannot forget this (that) day.”
Wrong: bossom; right: bosom.
The December 11 edition of BUSINESSDAY circulated five infractions: “HMD Nigeria berths with cost saving equipments” News you can trust: cost-saving equipment (non-count). Also take note of the critical hyphenation.
“Alcoholic-induced road (vehicular/auto) crashes worry FRSC” Business Life: alcohol-induced mishaps….
“Officer’s daughter (daughter’s) kidnap: Army beef (beefs) up security in barracks”
“Plateau expresses displeasure over (at/with) comments at Arewa forum”
“Naira falls to its weakest in 9-weeks” Market Report: 9 weeks
“To me, the strike action is unnecessary….” It is becoming increasingly unnecessary to keep correcting this particular solecism almost every week: strike; industrial action; work stoppage; or service withdrawal, among other terms, depending on context …certainly not ‘strike action’.
The ‘arrest’ fault continues: “Four officials arrested over Bauchi bank robbery” and “Police arrest four over Azare” (THE NATION and THE GUARDIAN of December 9) When will this faux pas stop? ‘Arrest’ takes ‘for’—always—not ‘over’!
“Youths condemn Sanwo-Olu over (for) hike in tuition fees” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, December 9) For tight writing essence, why not just ‘tuition’?
Still on the preceding medium: “By acquiescing to (in) the mercenary intervention by the Americans….”
“As long as they are operating within the context and spirit of the Companies Allied Matters Act….” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, December 9) A rewrite: As long as they are operating to the letter of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. There is also ‘the letter of the law’, in another related context.
“Take your rights…or trade it” (THE GUARDIAN, December 8) Get it right: rights/them or right/it.
“…that for all the security agencies in the state have involved vigilante groups….” (THISDAY, December 8) This way: vigilance groups.
“Mutual Funds allow managers pool various sizes of investment (sic) together and invest them in various asset classes like….” (BUSINESSDAY SPECIAL REPORT, December 8) In modern writing, ‘pool’ is independent. So: pool various sizes of investments and invest…..
“Security: North must get its acts (act) together” (THISDAY, December 8)
“And so we wait for it to run and redress the abuse of recklessness of yesteryears.” Once more, fixed expression: yesteryear
“Just as the banning of books and newspapers give (gives) rise to an illicit trade in them….”
“Perhaps it may interest you to note that the average take home (a hyphen) pay of a fresh university graduate a month, in any of the Federal ministry (ministries), was slightly above N18,000.”
“…the PPMC had neglected the leakage for the past five years despite series (a series) of letters from the state’s LASEP alerting it on the inherent danger of the leakage.” One disaster too many: alerting it to (not on).
“The Nigerian Correctional Service has always run adult literacy classes that was (were) organized by the Welfare Department.”
“…plans are afoot to foster (foist) the APC on the nation again in the 2023 general elections, its present very low rating notwithstanding.”
“The commission had gone to these places with many of the petitioners and witnesses in tow (toe)….”
“It is the year when we, the people, will be opportuned.…” Morphological issues: ‘opportune’, which applies here, does not admit ‘d’ or simply, the people will have the opportunity!
“There was hardly a tear-free eye, as muffled sobs and wails rented (rent) the mid-afternoon air….”
“At last, artist body gets new exco” This way: artists’ body.
“The vote count had kept changing figures with each recount narrowing the margin in the state between the two candidates.” I insist on between the candidates.
“When in 1979, a privilegded (privileged) triumvirate was faced with the arduous task of choosing who to take over the reigns (reins) of government from them….”
“Abia governor pointed at the federal roads in the South East which he said are (were) the worst in the country.”
“NBA passes no confidence vote on Buhari” For a better society: confidence vote in (not on) Buhari.
“How we wish they knew that Nigerians, not those on (in) the corridors of power….”