Let us welcome NATIONAL NEWS to this column. Its edition of April 13 contained a headline solecism: “Infidelity, abortion scares man away from wife.” Error of attraction: scare.
“GOC’s shoot-at-sight order undue interference with electoral process” (THISDAY LAWYER, April 12). Fixed expression: shoot-on-sight order.
“40 persons charged for election violence in Osun” (Nigerian Tribune eadline, April 12). Stock phrase: charge with (not for)
“To serve is a priviledge —Fashola” (THE NATION ON SUNDAY Banner, April 29) Spell-check: privilege.
“The INEC office was said to have been packed full, before a big bang was heard.” (THE GUARDIAN, Sunday, April 29) ‘Bang’ does not need any qualification—small or big because of its inherent loudness and suddenness.
“…As underaged voters stormed polling booths in Kano’’ (Sunday Tribune, April 29) This way: underage voters.
“My grouse with INEC over Dino Melaye” My grouse about (not with or against)….
“INEC’s shodiness and senators’ apprehension” (Nigerian Tribune Politics Headline, April 27) Shoddiness leads to sloppiness.
“Banks get 48 hours ultimatum” (Business World Front Page Headline, April 14-21) Why not 48 hours’ ultimatum?
“Ports, boarder posts bleed of revenue losses while the election lasts” (DAILY CHAMPION Headline, April 11) Spell-check: border posts—and while elections last, preferably.
“For the many others who kept their heads low and still did their duties the best way they could, we say congratulations for (again, on/upon) surviving the season of anomie.” (Leadership, April 6)
“The occasion was to mark the anniversary of his release from prison in (on) the infamous Robben Island.” (Businessday, April 30)
“All manners (manner) of evil (evils) have been blamed on the Nigerian police.” (THISDAY, April 6)
“They too would ask why the candidate put himself forward twice (two times) for the Senatorial post, knowing fully (full) well that….” (Vanguard, April 6)
“The government justified its decision to privatize all but a few of its public enterprises on the ground (grounds) that they have been…” (THE NATION, April 6)
“The next set of Assemblies should comprise of people of sound knowledge of the law.” Obliterate the ‘of’ preceding ‘people’.
“…if they are prepared to stand for the electorates.” Deregulating communication: ‘electorate’ is an uncountable (collective) noun. However, there is a movement towards its acceptance.
“If Nigerians are to continue taking government’s moral propagations serious (seriously)…”
“…the fate of other spheres of human activity are (is) inextricably tied to it.”
“If the police was (were) slow in apprehending the murderers…”
“President Buhari urged to embark on poverty alleviation schemes” News: poverty-alleviation schemes. Take note of the hyphen.
“The chances of any fifteen to twenty-four-year-old being murdered is (are)….”
“…top office holders who are currently (sic/unnecessary) facing various charges ranging from murder, embezzlement of public money and (to) blatant violation of fundamental human rights of many Nigerians.”
“…suspected criminals caught by various vigilante (vigilance) groups who now do the job of the police.”
“When Obasanjo made known his intention to contest the presidential election under (on) the platform of the PDP…”
“…he was going to do his possible best.” Issues in 2019 Budget: ‘Best’ does not require any intensification because of its superlative status.
“But the governor has stuck to his gun (guns), insisting that his action is perfectly constitutional.”
Next in the saddle is THE PUNCH of April 13, which goofed this way: “LG plans to employ qualified health officials.” Would it have employed unqualified officials? Your readers are not moronic patrons!
“The minister had alerted the nation about (to) the activities of saboteurs within the system.”
“The NLC has however gone beyond mere condemnation of the policy to threaten government with a strike action.” Deregulation of English: industrial action.
“I have also come to the conclusion that the best way to remain sane in this country is not to take our rulers serious (seriously).”
“INEC was at a crossroad before the postponement.” Sustainable democracy: at a/the crossroads.
“The other problem of inter- and intra-communal feuds continue (continues) unabated.” Not proximity yet.
“…especially as it has defiled (defied) all solutions by experts in the area of waste management.”
“Sadly, these have culminated into (in) communal clashes…”
“…in line with our African view of being our brothers’ keepers.” Fixed expression: brother’s keeper (irrespective of plurality)
“As a youth corp (corps) member in Kano in 1974/75, I do understand…”
“Buhari to re-open talks with Niger Delta leaders.” ‘Reopen’ does not admit hyphenation.
“Sheath Your Sword.” Spell-check: sheathe.
“If the recent discovery of the bodies of policemen and soldiers in the bush are (is) a measure of…”
“Stocks shake-off Easter euphoria, remain active.” Phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation.
“What happens to genetically-modified seeds that make agricultural produces grow…” An unfinished agendum: ‘produce’ is non-count.
“Journalists attached to Abuja may eventually return home to their families with their properties (property).”
“Military personnel are said to outdo themselves (one another)…”
“Excuse me if I am trivializing, via humour, an otherwise griefing matter.” This is scandalous! Noun: grief and verb: grieve. So, grievous (adjective, which is the right application here) matter.
“Thank God I didn’t doff my hat for (to) someone who does not even merit a clap.”
“He killed an Egyptian and an Hebrew” Lectern thoughts: a Hebrew (which is New English).
“Elumelu sets precedence (precedent) in impact investing (investment) in Africa.”
“…he had always shy (shied) away from politics but always manage (managed) to find himself in politics.”
“I think us poor Nigerians that only has (have) the rough edged (a hyphen) stick to hold at times like this….” Task forces as solution: a time like this or at times like these.
THE GUARDIAN of March 9 offered two unpardonable and extremely vexatious gaffes. “To round up the visit was the trip to the New Place, the site of the house where Shakespeare died.” Get it right: round off (not round up).