“LAGOS auto dealer, Ogbonna, remanded in prison over wife’s death” For the umpteenth time, please delete ‘in prison’, which is encapsulated in ‘remand’, technically speaking etymology.

“The rector had in some fora alluded to this when he stated that the costs of some of the equipment in the polytechnic laboratories are (were) higher than those of the buildings housing them.”

“Reps’ fury over CBN’s cat and mouse game” Get it right: cat-and-mouse game” You can also do away with ‘game’.

“The CBN has been engaged in a hide and seek game with the parliament since December last year.” This way: just hide-and-seek—no ‘game’ whatsoever in this case unlike the preceding extract.

“3 arrested for illegal sale of children in Abia” Who can help me: is there legal sale of children in Abia and indeed Nigeria?

“…has given graphic details (a graphic detail or graphic details, depending on context) on how her husband was killed.”

“He’s (His) presence has raised the profile of football in the kingdom….” This is not sports at its best!

THISDAY of February 4 almost sentenced the English language to death: “He was giving them scorpion when they demanded for fish.” An appeal: delete ‘for’

“The need for the participation of extracurricular activities such as after school (after-school) tutoring is at par with….”

“…House Committee on Judiciary has been involved in the day to day (day-to-day) activities of the House.”

Lastly from The Saturday Newspaper: “Okowa cries out to FG for N10bn to reconstruct flood damaged (flood-damaged) facilities”

Vanguard Viewpoints of February 7 contained some diseased lines: “Coming on the heel (heels) of this embarrassment was the sentence by….”

“It is a big paradox and acquiescence to (in) the thesis of….”

“This is classical case (a classical case) discrimination that is….”

“Prof. Isaac Adewole, ex-Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria, is formerly a provost of the College of Medicine of the institution.” A rewrite: Adewole was a provost of….

“…to call for assistance and receive same (the same) in record time.” 

“Previous (Prior) to this, women had been deemed not sensible enough to vote.…”

“Rather, the mobilization of sophisticated naval vessels and armed-to-the-teeth military men to the Niger Delta by the JTF are (is) being worked out in the name of protecting oil installations and oil workers.”

“Now, as human beings, we live in either of two tents: content or discontent.”  Simply either of tents (never ‘either of two,’ which is indicative of illiteracy).

“This will assist in ensuring that only candidates with the zeal for grassroot (grassroots) development eventually make it.”

“Indeed, this formed one of the major plank (planks) of achievements rolled out during their first year anniversary.”

“Whatever you find out about him Everyday Woman wishes you the very best in your decisions”. ‘Best’ has reached the end-point of intensification and cannot, therefore, be amplified in any formal (standard) writing.

“Our managers quarrel about the quality of their offices, furniture, air-condition cars.…” Get it right: air-conditioned cars.

“…one difficult reading in the annals of Nigerian political history is the number of attempted republics.” Deleting ‘annals of’ from the excerpt shows word economy (management) and class.

“The saying that ‘many cooks spoil the soup’ is very apt here.” Basic knowledge: many cooks spoil the broth (not the soup!).

“Though no incidence of violence or hooliganism was reported at the Kano launch.…” Correct report: no incident of violence.

“Indigenous contractors face the problem of acquiring sophisticated construction machineries (machinery) which usually had to be imported.”

Related News

“Well, to be sure, one thinks we have taken so much for granted in this country, so much so that, without knowing it, we acquiesce to the degradation.…” I do not acquiesce in the degradation….

“Thirteen (13—professionally) cops arrested in Ogun over (for) extortion”

 “The less-than-wholesome attitude of referees to matches have (has) also contributed to fans’ loss of interest in these tournaments.”

“…even series (a series) of losses punctuated by occasional flashes of wins….”

“The police said yesterday that no court of law could stop it (them).”

“So, the formation of all manners (manner) of parties is neither here nor there.”

“Lets get spicy with pepper soup” A la carte: Let’s get spicy….

“Sometimes (Sometime) last year, a foreign organisation (organization, preferably) declared Nigeria the most corrupt country in the world.”

“To these category of senators….”  Not an opinion, but a fact: this category or these categories, depending on context.

“…he is presenting himself to them for matured (mature) leadership.”

“The last but not the least….”  Still on fixed expressions: the last but not least (no second ‘the’).

“APC: The alignments necessary for the survival of a political association has (why?) started.”

“He also stated his grouse against (about) Buhari.”

“…these crises and efforts for its (their) resolution.”

“American administration at loggerhead (loggerheads) with California over electricity costs.”

“…technocrats on (in) the corridors of power who are better known by their ever-readiness to concur must have concocted this.”

“The findings of the work of the committee has (what’s the meaning of that?) given birth to the zonal presentations currently in vogue….”  How does ‘currently in vogue’ sound, please?  Collocation demands sound cerebral processes; not carelessness and loose thinking. ‘Vogue’ implies, deductively and by inherence, currency.  Shall we continue with this illiteracy?

“…the South-East geopolitical zone will have its own presentation on April 30 at Enugu   while the North-East zone will hold hers (why the gender insensitivity?) in Bauchi on May 3.” This is known as feminization of the English language.

“…the North-Central zone will round up (off) the presentations at (in) Abuja on May 29.”  This reminds one of Onitsha literature series of yore!

“Here are some of the faces at (on) the occasion.”

“The government, he said, is (was) putting everything into the soil to boost its fecundity ….”

“Zambians must congratulate themselves for (on/upon) this turn of events, but they….”


“Super Eagles scale (sail) through to semi-finals.” (AIT News Scroll, February 3) 

“THANKS for educating Nigerians through your column. It is amazing how careless many Nigerians have become in the use of the English language. There is no excuse for journalists since most computers have electronic dictionaries which can be consulted for spelling and correct word usage. Please keep up the effort.” (Prof. S.O. Afolami/08068060864/Abeokuta)

“THANKS for your column. To my friends, colleagues, family and club members, it is a must-read. We take off our hats to you for this rare ingenuity.” (08062925996)