Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance with this being my last edition in 2018…see you, by God’s grace, on January 9, 2019.
“NURTW boss commends members over (for)….”
“As we have (had) noted in previous editorials….”
“ICT centre for school pupils” I believe we should do away with ‘school’ here because it is implied—just as it would be wrong to say ‘school students’. I admit that ‘pupilage’ and ‘studentship’ can, by extrapolation, apply to other spheres of life, but the scholastic context here is clear.
“All glory be to God for given (giving) us opportunities.”
“…parents of the graduating students, pressmen (journalists), and other invitees (guests, preferably).”
“The next Parent Teachers Association meeting comes up on….” Get it right: Parent Teacher Association
“All materials that are contrabands (contraband) will not only be seized but appropriate (would it have been ‘inappropriate’?) sanctions will be administered on (to) the erring student.”
Finally from ‘Up Grams’, founded June 6, 1859: “On (In) the same vein….” Up School, Up Boys! If this citadel claims to be the oldest and the best, grammatical solecisms in its publications for public consumption should be an anathema.
“FG flags-off (sic) (starts) first modular refineries next month—Presidency” First, phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation. ‘Flag off’ is one of the sporting terminologies used during a competition like motor/motorbike/bike racing. Overtime, some Nigerians have misapplied it to the ‘commencement’ of virtually everything.
“Israel (Israeli) embassy in Jordan attacked”
“Trump (Trump’s) lawyer denies looking into presidential self-pardons”
“Justice must be served, to serve as a deterrence (deterrent) to others still running around the collective till.”
“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….
“The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) said on Tuesday that the fate of banks are now in the hands of their shareholders.” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Business, November 17) No commercialese: the fate of banks is (not are).
“The testimony of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former CSO to late General Sani Abacha….” A fox and his bagful of yarns: former CSO to the late General Sani Abacha.
“The corporation said it is (was) determined to protect depositors by all means.” (THISDAY, August 15)
“Food crop production has declined rapidly and this is largely attributable to soil despoilation….” Frequent oil spills in the Niger Delta axis: despoliation.
“Money speaks, we will interprete” Spell-check: interpret.
“He said the taking over of these banks by AMCON will (would) not….” (Source: as above) Yet another Business English (commercialese)!
“The boys who were to kill us started fighting themselves” This way: The boys fought one another (not themselves). Except, of course, they were on a suicide mission!
“Banks nationalization: Accusing fingers point at regulators” (SATURDAY TRIBUNE, December 8) A rewrite: Banks’ (take note of the apostrophe) nationalization: The finger points at regulators.
“Adanma who is based in the United States and works as a medical personnel….” (Source: as above) ‘Personnel’ is a collective noun and cannot function as used. Get it right: a medical official, employee, worker, service provider, assistant, hand…
“Veteran golfers converge at Ikeja club” (Source: as above) Let’s go golfing as we converge on Ikeja Club.
Nigerian TRIBUNE of August 11 circulated two embarrassing errors: “…even foreigners who should ordinarily be living in utmost circumspection have the effrontory and confidence to dupe Nigerians and even kill them.” No lexical quackery: effrontery.
“We shudder to imagine how many of these foreigners are involved in various forms of criminality which the lax security system of the state have (has) permitted.”
“He will do it well, but if you give it to a mediocre….” People and Power: a mediocrity or mediocrist. ‘Mediocre’ is an adjective.
“FRSC records 180 causalities in Kogi” Spell-check: casualties.
“She argued that a pact such as is being advocated for by the lawmakers amounted to Nigeria’s reorientation.” Remove ‘for’.
“I searched in vain for the Ministry of Defence and, unless the text I had was defective, it was conspicuously absent.” ‘Absence’ does not require any qualification. Simply, it was absent.
“His Excellency…Ambassador Extraordinary (Extraordinaire) and Plenipotentiary….”
“In fact, the situation has degenerated from that of epileptic power supply down to that of complete blackout which in most cases lasts from weeks to months.” ‘Blackout’ does not need any modifier—it means total extinction or concealment of lights.
“The reasons range from power generation limitation to the use of overaged (overage), antiquated and arsenic hydro-terminal plants and so many others too numerous to mention.” Agreed that ‘overage’ means ‘too old’ (used mostly for human beings), but for contextualization and language grasp, ‘obsolete’ (for inanimate things) should have been it.
“Many people have lost their household properties as a result of uncontrolled power voltage.” Time to remove the immunity of PHCN: property (not properties) in this context.
“The consensus of opinion in the country today….” Despite the pockets of debate on what some learner’s dictionaries say, I insist on consensus (without opinion, which is optional anyway).
“It is also an open secret that a cabal of highly placed sacred cows holds the fuel distribution process in the country to ransome.“ Spell-check: ransom.
“Council chairmen and legislators at the council, state and federal levels would also later be sworn-in (sworn in) for the take off (take-off) of the Eighth Republic.” Again, phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.
“The Yorubas, Igbos and even Northern minorities have grudges….” English is no politics: the Yoruba, the Igbo and the Northern minorities.
“Except round pegs are put in round holes, the nation will be the looser (loser) for it.”
“It is arguable if the current spate of advancement (advancements) recorded in the area of….”
“Thank God he is concerned at (about/ for/over/in—depending on context—never at) the security situation.”
“There were other ministers in the last dispensation who performed creditably well, but who were not reappointed.” Get it right: ministers who performed creditably or well. ‘Creditably well’ is an overkill. Both cannot co-function.