Categories: Columns

Reception, not network, unclear

Ebere Wabara

Most times when people take their calls on mobile phones, you overhear “network is bad, poor or not clear”! It is not the telephonic networks that are bad, but the quality of reception—which is affected by sundry technicalities. (Thanks to professorial Baba Ilesha/09065749406 for this clarification).

THE NATION ON SUNDAY of August 19 displayed grammatical hypocrisy: “The president should call the group to order for double standards (standard) and flouting our laws”

“Rangers’ boss picks holes on 3SC” I also pick my own holes in (not on) this headline.

“…was the outcome of the series of meeting (meetings)”

“…Assure (Assure Nigerians) Boko Haram will be defeated”

READ ALSO: FG, UN, others partner to reintegrate Boko Haram victims in Lake Chad region

“The source said further that…are (were) now firmly in control of the military.”

“Lassa fever scare in Delta as FMC cordons-off (cordons off) emergency ward”

“…the population of the estate has increased considerable (considerably)”

Finally from THISDAY of August 22 under review: “Heat free (Heat-free) curls”

SATURDAY INDEPENDENT of August18 circulated a potpourri of misapprehensions: “Buhari’s administration is been (being) sabotaged, says cleric”

“Irri community seeks for support” Yank off ‘for’
Wrong: electioneering campaign; Right: electioneering or campaign

“Siasia clamours for Nigerians (Nigerians’) support”
“CNS indicts major oil companies in (for/on) oil theft”

READ ALSO: The N2.6 trillion loss to crude oil theft

Yet another lexical crisis: “…that the police was (were) supporting the impeached speaker of the House….”

“…at the expense of majority (the majority) of other members of the House”

“He said the police cannot (could not) be dragged into the mess….”

“Underfunding, bane to (of) poly education”

“…incessant strikes actions….” Education Today: incessant strikes

“Truancy among professors and other senior academic staff often percolate (percolates) down the academic hierarchy….”

“Modibbo meets delegates, promises all inclusive (all-inclusive) government”

“Obiazor relishes Super Eagles (Eagles’) call-up”

“Group insists PDP, APC should pick Christian (Christians) as flag bearers (standard-bearers) in 2019”

“We express these fears, knowing fully well the nature of ….” This amounts to ill-treatment of the English language. Right: knowing full well

“The NFF still have to decide on the outcome of some matches” ‘Federation’ takes a singular verb.

“What is good for the goose can’t be bad for the gander. “ I do not understand the use of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ instead of ‘sauce’ in this instance.

“…but LifeStyle will not hesitate to remind you about (sic) one of the qualifying criterion for this jamboree…” Singular: criterion; plural: criteria. In addition, ‘remind you of…’

“An alleged hike in school fees has created a row between the management and the Parents

Teachers Association (PTA) of…. “PTA means Parent-Teacher Association.

“The donation of vehicles and communication gadgets provide a good beginning. “ The donation … provides.

“Fear of robbers keep lawyers away from courts” Fear of robbers keeps…

“CBN intervention bouys naira” (BUSINESSDAY, August 21) Get it right: buoys.

THISDAY of August 18 disseminated the following slips: “Nigeria is, therefore, once more, at crossroads and the path the nation takes shall make all the difference.” Perspective: at a/the crossroads

“Indeed, it is now a make or mar situation….” Rise of fascism: make-or-mar situation

From Global Soccer comes this: “With a not too impressive (With a not-too-impressive) outing at the 2018 World Cup….”

“When will governance resume in Nigeria” (THISDAY Back Page, August 18) We need a question mark here!

THISDAY Front Page of August 11 circulated three omissions: “More foreign investment (investments) in Floating Production Storage coming”

“FG planning to frame-up (frame up), arrest us, say Saraki, Ekweremadu”

“Unknown gunmen kill 9 in fresh Benue attack” We can never know the gunmen! So, just drop ‘unknown’

Plus: “…but like (as) they say….”

“…job opportunities for the teaming (teeming) youths.”

“I spoke to some promoters but many said his time has (had) passed.”

“Spate of boat mishap (mishaps), maritime deaths worry FG, says NIMASA Chairman”

READ ALSO: Low scores trail Buhari’s 3-years of maritime administration

“Klopp in fresh attack on Ramos’ win at all cost (win-at-all-cost) attitude

“Former Tour de France winner arrested over (for) attack on sex worker”


THISDAY Front Page Window of August 18 offended readers this way: “…his immediate family members and close associate (associates) held an early morning prayers at….” Which one: an early morning prayer or early morning prayers…?

“Defeating APC in 2019 in Bauchi State becomes more feasible, judging from the last week polls result….” Get it right: judging by last week’s polls result

“MTN signs N200bn medium term (medium-term) loan facility with 12 banks”

“Amnesty office alerts on (to) fake training programmes”

“8 die in auto, boat mishap (mishaps) in Benue, Zamfara”

“Exhorbitant right of way charges frustrating broadband investors” Spell-check: exorbitant


Language clinic (2)

May I express my appreciation for the high quality of your column. The impact cannot be negated. Please note this from DAILY SUN of January 30, Page 22: “Past hurdles not yet overcomed (overcome)” Dr. S. Chuks

– (08038094832)

I write to appreciate the justice done to my humble response to the growing grammatical challenges. As a matter of fact, to make corrections sets you apart. It is hoped that more people will come to terms with the nice work you are doing. God bless you.

– (08161236077)

Thank you for doing a good job. But you confused me by using the phrase ‘little bit’ in one of your articles. Using both words together, I think, is tautological.

– (09081358432)

The variety is fixed: Standard British English (SBE)—not British Standard English.

– (08037073539)

MY comment: We have BSE, just as we have SBE, when in comparison, especially, with American English. We should not limit ourselves to rudimentary knowledge of the English language. For elucidation, vide Grammar.com, among other referential sources.


To be concluded next week

Tokunbo David :Sun News Online team writer and news editor

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