By Ebere Wabara
THISDAY Front Page Banner of February 15 welcomes us today with this egregious headline: “Diri sworn-in (sworn in), promises a new dawn in Bayelsa” Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.
“Commendation (Commendations) galore as Governor Dickson holds valedictory session”
“…after struggling with series (a series) of injuries which kept him out of action for a long period.” (GLOBAL SOCCER, February 15)
“Pele says health problems is (are) normal for people of his age” (Source: as above) By the way, Pele is 79.
“She talks to (with)…about her acting, Nollywood at large and so much more”
“8 killed, many burnt in petrol tanker accident in Niger” (News around the city, February 19) There must be a distinction between premeditated/wilful murder/assassination and consequential or natural death without deliberate externalization. In other words, the eight victims died and were not killed—except there was an element of negligence or culpable homicide, which was not stated in the report.
“Consequently, NIHSA has urged states and local governments to be prepared for possible incidents of flooding before the onset (outset) of rainy season.” (DAILY Sun Editorial, February 19) ‘Onset’ is exclusively used in deleterious/cataclysmic contexts that define negativity, while ‘outset’ refers to everything that is good or has no negative implications. Two examples: at the onset of the war, crisis, fight, fracas, confusion…. And this: Our family thought at the outset of the marriage that there would be no marital tiffs till death!
“A former course mate of mine argued in (on) a Whatsapp platform that….” (SUN OPINION Page, February 19)
“For close to five years, he raced through the banking sector like a bull in a china hall.” Get it right: a bull in a china shop.
“Singapore jails senior civil servants over (for) corruption”
“ANA postponements (sic) (postpones) February reading”
“Peugeot plans to inject $7.26b on (into) research, development”
“You lived well and you have gone to (preferably for) a well deserved (well-deserved) rest. Rest in perfect peace.” (Full-page advertorial) Except for graveyard peace, ‘peace’ is an absolute and does not need inflection, intensification or adumbration. So, rest in peace (R.I.P—not R.I.P.P)!
Finally from the Back Page of THE GUARDIAN under review: “One has witnessed at different occasions dissenting opinions of doctors as regards prescriptions for patient’s (a patient’s) ailment.” The Guardian youth speak: on different occasions.
Next is DAILY TRUST of February 20 with slips right from its front page lead story: “Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar spoke at his palace in Sokoto….” Does the Sultan of Sokoto have another palace elsewhere? Let us think as we report.
“Pact with China conducive for peace, says Taiwan (Taiwan’s or Taiwanese) president”
“Otherwise, there is no point we engage in importing that much on yearly (a yearly) basis.”
“…he said though the institute has (had) developed 62 rice varieties for farmers, five most prominent varieties are (were) in circulation and are (were) doing very good (well).”
“NEMA, stakeholders meets over displaced persons” You can readily identify the boyish slip-up.
“With the LG polls now fixed for next week Tuesday….” Either next Tuesday or Tuesday, next week—no jumbo-mumbo!
Lastly from DAILY TRUST: “Replicate your performance to (in) your constituents (constituencies)”
“Security at airports: Police deploys (sic) sniffer dogs at (in) Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, 5 others” (AIT News, 4 p.m., February 20)
“PIB: Senate to re-open probe” (Source: as above) My comment: already treated.
From DAILY TRUST we move to THISDAY of February 18 for the next four entries: “I am not in FCT for politics, says Mbu” It categorically means you were in Rivers State for presidential wife’s politics! That is the latent power of words.
“Absence of interpreter stalls trial of Portuguese woman charged for (with) drug trafficking”
“Thumb (Thumbs) up for Nigerian refs in Mali”
“Obasanjo : Amaechi’s k-leg (knocked leg) has been straightened”
“Failure of Oduah to handover (hand over) stalls….”
The following five solecisms are from DAILY INDEPENDENT of February 18 starting from its front page: “DHQ assures of continued offensive” Who did it assure?
“Battle for soul of Ecobank intensifies” So the battle intensifies itself?
“Harnessing potentials of local software industry in Nigeria” ‘Potential’ is uncountable, but we have ‘potentialities’,
“…who had at one point or the other (or another) been to Oyo State….”
“Tackling voters apathy in Nigeria” This way: voter apathy
SATURDAY INDEPENDENT of February 15 disseminated all manner of school-boy mistakes right from the front page: “Fear has grip (gripped) notable politicians in Ebonyi State following findings by….” Most of the ensuing blunders were caused by sheer carelessness and loose thinking as the computer system has an in-built mechanism that detects most of the spelling errors contained herein.
“The discovery was made when the SSS arrested some kidnappers in the state alleged to be the brain (brains) behind high profile (high-profile) kidnapping in the state.”
“The SSS in the state said on Friday that it has (had) arrested….”
“…motorists were made to watch a bizzare (bizarre) spectacle, (needless comma) as four policemen beat a man gave (who gave) his name as…to a state of stupour (stupor).”
“The policemen, who drove to the scene in a patrol van with registration number KJA 284 AX, threw caution the winds (sic) (threw caution to the winds).”
“Federal University Lafia, (otiose punctuation) matriculates 380 students” Would it have matriculated traders? Just yank off the last word in the extract!
“Community sends SOS to Amosun, Fashola over harrassment” Spell-check: harassment, but embarrassment.
“When Fayemi’s wife rescued woman abandoned with tripplet (triplet)”
Still on SATURDAY INDEPENDENT under focus: “…Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, has already served the people creditable well…” This is an over-kill: use either ‘creditably’ or ‘well’. Both cannot co-function in the same environment.
“Adewale Ayuba is one musician (music/musical) act who has been around for years. “
“My husband usually ask (asks) me to abort my pregnancy, woman tells court”
Finally from SATURDAY INDEPENDENT, a voice of your own: “Movie directors threaten sanction on (against) actress”
Next on focus is DAILY SUN of February 10: “They buy at N159 and sell at N167, the CBN has (had) addressed last year when….”
“But what the banks decided to do is (was) to even stop selling.”
“Middle aged (Middle-aged) man commits suicide in Jos…Police tries (try) to uncover his identity”
“IITA creates 40,000 jobs under cassava to ethanol (cassava-to-ethanol) project”
THISDAY of February 6 contributed to the pool of infelicities: “Budget: APC threatening the lifewire (livewire) of Nigeria, says PDP”
“Edo: Court remands killer cop (killer-cop)…”
SUNDAY Sun Back Page of February 9 goofed: “CBN said money is (was) missing from federation (the federation) account.”