The Sun News

A change mantra: Correcting English made in Nigeria

Shakespeare’s authority
Every language is in a continuous state of change and enlargement. Change is the only permanent thing in the world. Nothing is permanent except change. Even change has changed, for it now occurs faster and faster than envisaged.
The real trouble with some Nigerians is that they refuse to change their orientation, mindset and attitude.
Furthermore, everything in life changes, including friendship. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is forever. No matter what! So is language. Every language is dynamic, including the English language.
Therefore, Shakespeare’s authority cannot justify or exonerate the modern solecist.

The celebrant or the celebrator?
Writing about Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a multi – talented and many – sided man, at 80 may not be exactly easy. But having known the “celebrant” (celebrator) closely for almost four decades now, I can say that what stands this leader of men and astute manager of resources out is his patriotism, determination, selflessness and his strength of character to use his office, and indeed, his all, for the achievement of the good of the majority.
I must confess that my interation with the “celebrant” (celebrator) transcends mere lawyers – client relationship.

Mediocre or mediocrity?
It is a well – known fact that Obasanjo is intolerant of “mediocre” (mediocrity or the mediocre), loafers and the indolent as well as meddlers.
General elections or general election?
Apart from being the first Nigerian ruler – military or civilian – to willingly relinquish power to a democratically elected civilian government in 1979, Obasanjo recorded another “first” in 2007; when he, again, handed over power vide successful general “elections” (election).
On the sands of times or on the sands of time?
In the realm of education, Obasanjo’s government left indelible marks on the sands of “times” (time) by increasing the number of schools generally and allowing private universities to thrive for the first time and were able to compete fiercely with the established universities during his tenure.
The matured age of 80 or the mature age of 80?
Having said all these, as the world unite in joy and elan to celebrate Obasanjo at 80, he should see and acknowledge the attainment of the “matured” (mature) age of 80 as a special grace from the Almighty God and a veritable opportunity for him to do more in his service to a nation, which he loves so much and, indeed, to humanity, the fulcrum of his dream. – SUNDAY TRIBUNE Opinion page, March 5, 2017. Special notes on grammar and usage: Celebrant, Celebrator.
Please reserve “celebrant” (in the 21st Century English) for someone who conducts a religious rite, e.g. a pastor, a priest, a chaplain, an alfa or an imam. E.g. PastorAdebayo was the celebrant of the Mass while Chief Obasanjo was the celebrator on the occasion.
Another special note: Use “Celebrator” for someone having a good time, like birthday, wedding, et.c. E.g. The celebrators kept the party going until 6 a.m.
“The general election” is a fixed phrase. It has no plural form (not “general elections”) “On the sands of time” is a formal (fixed) phrase (not “on the sands of times”)!
At about N10 billion or about N10 billion?
The diversion of Kerosene and the use of low – value hydrocarbons results in losses to the Federal Government and Oil Companies. Conservative estimates put the cost “at about” (at or about) N10 billion annually.
More fundamentally or More importantly?
More “fundamentally” (importantly), however, is the vital necessity of increasing local production capacity and reducing the nation’s dependence on imported fuel products. – THE NATION MAIN EDITORIAL, March 30, 2017. Special notes on grammar and usage: In modern usage, “about” is preferred to “at about”.
“Fundamental” is an absolute – an absolute superlative – an absolute adjective. It is not qualified or modified, hence “fundamental rights” – there is no “more fundamental rights”. We have first generation rights, second/third generation rights”!
Had less or had fewer than three years?
I had, in the last eight months written two personal letters to the Governor of Lagos State on this issue (of retired Lagos Primary School Teachers) but no actions have so far been taken to end the suffering of these teachers who retired before the New Contributory Pension Scheme took off in the state or had “less” (fewer) than “3” (three) years to go in service. – THE NATION LETTER Page, March 30, 2017 Special note: My wife died in 2001 and by December 2011, I paid N82, 000 to the Lagos State Government, but, up to now, her benefits have not been paid!

Blocks or blocs?
Sadly for the All Progressive Congress (APC), the party appears to be divided into four main “blocks” (blocs), and may thus find it difficult to achieve its purpose in government. To strive to the noble ideals necessary for them to retain power beyond 2019, they must reconcile the four “blocks (blocs), harness their strengths, and turn them into a winning team of visionaries and empire builders.
The first “block” (bloc) is made up of the president and his inner circle, an amalgam of a hobbled leader tenuously holding together a group of aides pejoratively labelled as political and power hijackers, a “block” (bloc) whose ideas of governance are at variance with modernity and reality.
Rather than encircle and isolate the other “blocks” (blocs), given the enormous power at their disposal, the president’s “block” (bloc) appears to have been confined into a narrow, schizoid group of scheming and angry provincialists.
Potentials or potentialities?
The second “block” (bloc) comprises national law makers just discovering identities, strengths, ideas and “potentials” (potential or potentialities). The third “block” (bloc) is made up of the party itself and those like Odigie Oyegun who run it on a day – to –day basis. The fourth “block” (bloc) is made up of the frustrated idealists in the party, men and women, who see the party in the mould of a mass movement comparable to any in the developed world people who see the party as an “organisation” (organization) dedicated to championing true democracy, the rule of law, and the rights of the people, a party inspired by the true ethics of fundamental change to cobble together an economic miracle that would attract the envy of Asia, China and the West.

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1 Comment

  1. Naijaman 20th April 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Purpose, pls???

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