You are welcome to our language clinic: “Power sector inefficiency: How privatization worsened consumers (consumers’) nightmare” (THE BUSINESS REPORT Banner, May 20)
“Obaseki, FG inaugurate night landing (night-landing) facilities, others at Benin airport”
“Only drastic measures like this will ensure that we do not continue to dance disco when our energy house is on fire.” Get it right: a measure like this or measures like these—depending on the intended context.
THISDAY of May 18 comes next with copious inaccuracies beginning from the front page: “Atiku, PDP, formally file application for replacement of Justice Bulkachuwa” Truth & reason: the second comma is completely otiose and structurally distortive.
“The petitioners…had asked Justice Bulkachuwa to recuse (excuse) herself from the hearing of their petition, but the five man (five-man) panel presided by (presided over by)…had asked the petitioners to come by way of formal (a formal) application.”
“In the motion on notice (motion-on-notice) dated May 16 and filed same (the same) day by their lead counsel…”
“Northern Governors (Governors’) Forum decries lingering security crisis (crises) in region”
“Measles kill (kills) 58 in Borno”
“Emperor arrests health officials over (for) e-yellow fever card racketeering
“I’m a village girl, I went to a village primary, secondary schools…” Delete the article ‘a’
“I went through school and when my grandmother died, I had issue (an issue) with funds.”
“…the government needs to invest more into (in) an industry that has grown into the 3rd largest in the world without support”
“Amosun’s last minute (last-minute) actions causing anxiety”
“Wilfred Ndidi: Can Leicester ward-off (ward off) Man United’s prying eyes?”
Editorial of May 20 collects the baton with this lapse: “However, this amount is far below what the states require to pay workers’ salaries and pensions of retirees.” Just end this sentence at ‘pensions’. Who else do we pay pensions?
“President Nigerian Cycling Federation…gives insight on (into) the preparations towards the UCL Africa Cup coming up in Abuja in July.”
THE NATION ON SUNDAY Life of May 19 circulated this embryonic (immature) line: “Lagos is known as the honey-pot of Nigeria, attracting all and sundry from different nooks and corners of the country.” Goodbye flood-ravaged Lagos: nooks and crannies. Now, all those who ignorantly and mischievously accuse me of leaving out titles on this stable can prance!
“My grouse with Kalu — Ubani” (Sunday Tribune, May 19) Till eternity: my grouse about (not with)…
“The present situation is that the federal government has between 50 to 53 per cent of national income….” (THE NATION, May 9) Still on fiscal federalism: between 50 and 53 or from 50 to 53. No muddle, gentlemen of the Press.
The next five solecisms are from THISDAY, The Saturday Newspaper of May 18: “The family of the deceased is currently seeking proper investigation (investigations) to unravel….” Special feature: “is” confirms currency exclusivity. So, “is currently” is murderous abuse of language!
“They ought to have used that as an opportunity to prove their acceptability in Osun rather than resulting (resorting) to….”
“NFF at crossroad over fraud allegation” Sports gist: at a/the crossroads.
“This protest is…to talk to Obasanjo concerning his plan to impose Islam in (on/upon) the country.”
“Nobody has raised any eyebrow against Kayode Fayemi.” Formal expression: eyebrows.
“…the problems of the education sector” Agenda for education: noun (education); adjective (educational). Therefore, educational sector
“FG needs to allow states, LGs run educations — Prof. Bayejo” ‘Education’ is uncountable.
“Is it lawful to give riot victims mass burial without the permission of their living relatives?” Would it have been their dead relatives?
“This is neither the time or (nor) the place to discuss about (sic) the fractured lives of urban dwellers.” Delete ‘about’, in the interest of lexical sanity.
“The President has a (an) onerous responsibility not to give in to the expensive desires of his ministers and members of the National Assembly.”
“In Ibadan where I live, we sure are reaping the fallouts of….” The state of our grammar: fall-out (non-count).
“Lagos of yesteryears” This way: yesteryear (uncountable).
“Lagos on the Match Again” “Match” for “March”? Why not vernacular at once instead of this malapropism that borders on stark illiteracy!
“Civic education advocated for sustainance of democracy” “Sustenance” is it. This apparently infinitesimal difference defines the character of writing.
“New eatery debuts at Victoria Island” In formal writing, “debut” is strictly a noun, but in informal entries, it functions as either a noun or a verb. And this: on (not at) Victoria Island.
“…more so when most countries in (on) the continent have been turned into banana republics”
“Redressing the dilapidation that have (has) unfortunately become its hallmark is a task that must be done and urgently too.”
“The NLC led over 3,000 workers to parliament to protest the jumbo furnitures allowances.” I thought we had gone beyond the learner’s stage, which deals with etymological fundamentals: furniture allowances!
“Cast your minds (how many minds does a reader have?) back to those nightmarish years of fuel scarcity….”
“The era of racketeering, panic buying and stocking of petrol at home are (is) over.” Got the verb determinant? Here: The era.
“Anybody who happened to stumble unto (on) some millions of naira by fair or foul means dabbled into that business.”
“…there seems (seem) to be more than enough petrol stations for motorists….”
“Other motorists have to make do with old jalopies (are there new ones?) with a life span of between ten to 20 years….” Either: between 10 and 20 or from 10 to 20.
“Aminu, Akintola, Awo on 103-man envoys list” Who pocketed the good, old apostrophe (envoys’ list?) Live in truth if you want to serve.
“The current curricula were due for renew 11 years ago”. Back to the classroom: renew (verb) and renewal (noun).
“The dead doesn’t (don’t) talk.”
“The Lagos State Governor who had come to be part of history was ferried out of the troubled (trouble) spot without any bruises.”
“And certainly, we must look forward to a final end to Boko Haram incursions into (upon or on) our political life, whether by ‘invitation’, collusion or whatever.” Grumbling from the North: either finality or an end “Final end” sounds chaotic.
“On May 29, we swore into the highest pinnacle of our country a man who has re-kindled a light of hope over the quagmires of our global despair.” It is best to rewrite this catastrophe: On May 29, we swore in, to the pinnacle of our country, a man who has rekindled our hope. Let us avoid verbiage.