– The Sun News

My grouse about APC

LAST week, the portion from where the headline (“Celebrator or celebrant?”) was extracted was inadvertently omitted during production. The omission is the last paragraph today. I apologize for the lacuna.

“Like (As) I said earlier….” (Front Page News and Analysis, Classic 93.7 FM, 7 a.m., September 12)

THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER, of September 9 comes next with just two improprieties: “My grouse with (about) political parties in Nigeria”

“…these are the kind (kinds) of people that turn me on.”

“Togo at crossroads (at a/the crossroads)” 

“9 months after, el-rufai re-opens (reopens) tertiary institutions in ‘Southern Kaduna” (DAILY SUN, September 6)

“We learnt Government (unnecessary capitalization) had promised to conduct thorough investigation on the death.” Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market governorship disaster: a thorough investigation into the death

“Some alleged without proof that Tinubu was the force behind Bamidele in his determination to confront Fayemi….” (THISDAY, August 3). If the word ‘allege’ means ‘to assert something without any proof’, then delete ‘without proof’ from the extract!

“Salt Spring Resort has been redefined and renovated to provide excellent service.” A refreshing experience of paradise: provide an excellent service or provide excellent services

Still on the above source: “We are poise (poised) to deliver uncompromise (uncompromised) quality product that will ultimately satisfied (satisfy) our esteemed customers. Come lets (let’s) give you….” (Full-page advertisement by Nanet Hotels Limited) What do we do with the sub-literacy of advertisement copies?

“Anger, protests, as deceased’s friends point fingers at lawmaker” Get it right: point the finger at lawmaker

THE NATION ON SUNDAY of September 10 endangered the English language on two occasions: “In most cases, the necessary environment does not exist for meaningful importation (impartation) of knowledge.”

“Matters are not helped by students who are now distracted by things that have no bearing to (on) their studies.”

“Gov. Aminu Tambuwal appears set to take the bull by the horn (horns) by declaring his interest in the 2019 presidency….”

“Students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, are to cough-out (two words without hyphenation) a total of N5 million for repairs of damages (damage) they perpetrated during a demonstration in July last year.” ‘Damage’ admits an inflection only in reparative matters.

“Now, It is the turn of the teachers, in the race for the coveted seat of vice-chancellorship, and boy, are the learned dons falling  over themselves (one another) to out do (one word) each other (one another)?” When two fellows are concerned, we use ‘each other,’ but if it is more than two, it becomes ‘one another’,

“Secret cult in the campuses” Always on campuses

“Kano Pillars in trouble…yet to sign-on players” ‘Sign on’, a phrasal verb, does not require hyphenation.

“Thus, cargo that have been certified okay here….” I certify that ‘cargo’ is singular.

“Inconsistent government policies is globally disturbing….” Concord is one of the simplest things in grammar. Anybody who lacks this rudimentary knowledge has no business contributing to this most authoritative newspaper in Nigeria. You must develop your communicative skills first.

“Banks impose a lot difficult conditions on exporters and even charged (sic) some ‘hidden’ fees before the disbursement of these loans are (is) done…

“CPC to clampdown on illegal microfinance banks” Once more, phrasal verb: clamp down (two words).

“An acknowledged scholar, a distinguished statesman and a team leader per excellence” Get it right: leader par excellence.

“Some countries have taken tobacco manufacturers to court for the damages their products cause.” The will to die: damage is uncountable, except in reparative applications for indemnity.

“…what happened was that somebody filed a writ of summon.” This way (singular): a writ of summons; plural: summonses.

“It is the Federal Board that is always guilty of that, because it is them who take riff-raffs as welfare officers.” ‘Riff-raff’, just like ‘stuff’, is uncountable.

“Modern technology has reduced the world into (to) a hamlet where the inhabitants are their brothers’ keepers.” This way: brother’s keeper (fixed idiom), irrespective of the number of people involved. 

“The coincidence in the timing of all those sleazy gossips in soft-sell magazines and the beginning of his fashion parade….”  ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable.

“More overaged players for youth soccer” Get it right: overage players.


“Wordsworth” is the editor’s purgative. I agree with you that politicians run “neck and neck” (not neck-to-neck), but may also run “head-to-head.”

(Kola Danisa, 07068074257)

The “Social Circuit” in THE NATION described celebrity stylist Veronica Odeka as “most sort after.…” It should be “sought after” (Credit: as above)

MY brother Ebere, “celebrator” or “celebrant”, like “enquiry” or “inquiry”, is becoming similar in United States and United Kingdom. In the future, the word “celebrator” might be outdated because it also refers to a special beer, dopplebuck beer, and with apology, a satisfied “sex life” using a Clito-vibrator! Latest research by Jose Carillo, February 2013 citing authorities in lexicography/American Heritage DIC (AHD), has overtaken Merriam Webster/Oxford online definitions of “celebrator”. However, current Oxford dictionary also defines “celebrant” (American English) as someone celebrating something e.g. a party. “Celebrator” is omitted. But will it be old-fashioned? Time will tell. Cheers!

•(Sunny Agbontaen, Benin City, 08055162531)


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