THE last department of any newspaper that I do not envisage to come across kindergarten improprieties is the editorial/opinion/view of standard publications. Alas, as you will read presently, there seem to be more and more schoolboy howlers in the second most cherished section after the front page these days! The shibboleths are becoming embarrassing!
The Punch of March 13 formally kicks off this edition with the following commercialese: “Arik spreads it’s (its) wings to MMA 2” The airline should be taught that ‘it’s’ is a contraction of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ while ‘its’ is a possessive pronoun. (Contributed by Dr. Stanley Nduagu, Aba, 08062025996) More informed interventions are welcome.
“Governor Emmanuel, a trusted leader, with a focus and purposefulness, have (has) significantly….”
“The new direction, guarded (guided) by integrity….”
“As such, the conferment of the 2017 Integrity and National Award of the Nigerian Television Authority, (needless comma) speaks volume (volumes) of how much….”
“…congratulate His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel in (on/upon) this well deserved (well-deserved) award.”
“My Leader (sic), there is a common saying among our people that the hands that lifts (why?) the thatched roof….”
“SON cautions on use of sub standard (sub-standard) products”
“Your Excellency, Akwa Ibom is awashed (awash) with visible evidence”
“Care must be taken, however, to ensure that the need for specialized training on terrorism for officers and men of the security agencies are not turned into avenue (an avenue) to line up (for lining up) the pockets of top officials of the agencies.” The most critical aspect of the foregoing extract: Care must be taken, however, to ensure that the need for…is (not are)….
Let us visit Vanguard of February 9: “The state, therefore, does not deserve the treatment being currently meted to it”. Fixed expression: meted out (to). And this: ‘being’ and ‘currently’ cannot co-function.
“Chief of Naval Staff advocates for increased productivity via industrialization” What a wordy head! When used as a verb, ‘advocate’ does not admit ‘for’. Let us economize words, especially in headline casting: Naval Chief advocates increased productivity.
“For the university to recommend that students should pay for the damages while they have.…” A recurring error: except in legalese, ‘damage’ cannot be pluralized. (Daily Independent, February 9)
“… rather than investigating and finding out who were involved and check against future re-occurrence: Beyond recurrence (not reoccurrence), can an event yet to take place happen in the past?
“…the university is pointing its accusing fingers in the direction of the lecturers.” Correct expression: point a/the finger.
“…the AU summiteers concentrated almost exclusive (sic) on the political independence and liberation of countries in the continent.” (Daily Trust, February 8) In the interest of African Unity: on the continent.
“Monday’s action, which started at dawn, was as a result of the break-down (breakdown) of series of negotiations…” An agendum: a series of….
“According to the source, the institution has a very high percentage of failure in the last academic year.” Reported speech: the institution had (not has).
“…that the authorities of the institution was (were) still waiting the result of the police analysis of the bomb.”
“…in the next three years, its per capital income would have….” This way: per capita income.
The Guardian on Sunday of March 4 disseminated dozens of infractions: “The home of the chairman…was vandalized and most of his properties littered outside. “ No chaos: most of his property.
“So how come that (why is it that) Mr…. who was vehemently criticized by our sports writers during his coaching days with our Super Eagles has now warmed his way into the hearts of these same people…” In the spirit of sportsmanship and lexical sanity, let us replace ‘warmed’ with ‘wormed’.
THISDAY of February 9 embarrassingly went down with copious solecisms:”But experts have pointed that the inflation rate….” Contextually, the phrasal verb that applies here is ‘pointed out’… and not just the verb ‘pointed’ which means another thing entirely. Additionally, phrasal verbs do not tolerate hyphens.
“In his six-page address paying glowing tribute (tributes) and homage to former vice-president late Alex Ekwueme….” The late Alex Ekwueme….
“Nigeria Breweries poise for better future performance” The alcoholic beverage firm is poised (not poise) for ….
“Furthermore, the conduct of officials and the general logistical support for the just-concluded voter registration were unprecedented in the annals of our nation’s history.” ‘Annals of history’ is simply tautological. Just employ any of the variants. Both cannot be used in the same context (environment).
“Despite the Moslem-Moslem ticket which he and his vice-presidential candidate held, majority of Christians across the country still rallied in their favour.” (Source: as above) No protest in the build-up to the next general election coming up in 2019: a majority of Christians.
“In fact, nobody needs to go far in our contemporary world to find such helplessly troubled spots because they abound everywhere, in virtually all parts of the globe.” Morphology in turmoil: trouble spots, please.
“The eventual failure of many of such drugs have not discouraged fresh attempts at inventing more effective ones.” The battle against discord continues: The failure … of drugs has (not have).