Each Other’s Throat

THISDAY - - EXPRESSION - EBERE BY WABARA [email protected]­hoo.com, 08055001948

VAN­GUARD Front Page Ban­ner of De­cem­ber 5 wel­comes us to­day: “Tin­ubu, Atiku at each other’s throats (throat)” Both of them have just one throat each! Ac­cord­ing to the Book of Proverbs (12 v 1), who­ever loves in­struc­tion loves knowl­edge, but he who hates cor­rec­tion is stupid. On this note, you are wel­come to this week’s con­tri­bu­tion. For me, I trea­sure other lan­guage colum­nists and cher­ish the can­dour of those who cri­tique my own work. There is no per­fec­tion in the busi­ness of pub­lic com­mu­ni­ca­tion, yet we have to keep striv­ing af­ter purism.

Our se­rial er­rors this week are from The Guardian of Novem­ber 16: “Even when mem­bers of the Spe­cial Task Force (STF) came to re­store or­der at the venue….” Con­science, Nur­tured by Truth: re­store or­der to (not at) the venue….

“Ek­iti CAN mem­bers protest over Benue killings” The Flag­ship (is it still?) of jour­nal­ism in Nige­ria should know that ‘protest’ takes ‘about’, ‘against’ or ‘at’; not ‘over’. Even these are op­tional.

“In Nige­ria, if you loose, you call a press con­fer­ence telling the world the judge does not like your face or is bi­ased and so on.” Just lose. “Nige­ria’s first pri­vate re­fin­ery takes-off soon” Phrasal verbs ab­hor hy­phen­ation.

“Ev­ery one of us has a part to play as elec­torates be­cause this is the only coun­try we have.” Democ­racy for Jus­tice: ‘elec­torate’ is a col­lec­tive that does not need any in­flec­tion. A re­write: Ev­ery one of us has a part to play as a mem­ber of the elec­torate or as an elec­tor (or still, all of us have a part to play as the elec­torate). Per­haps, with time, the usage would reg­is­ter.

The Guardian Opin­ion Pages of Novem­ber 16 splashed five un­demo­cratic lines: “… good gov­er­nance in a con­ti­nent where the use of im­punity, un­for­tu­nately, has be­come an in­stru­ment of demo­cratic gov­er­nance.” Tu­nisia’s chang­ing times: on a con­ti­nent. “Like (As) I have al­ways said….” “…call­ing to ques­tion the forced in­volve- ment of Nige­ria in the sec­ond world war.” At a time like this: World War II.

“It was this sit­u­a­tion that height­ened the po­lit­i­cal con­di­tion in the coun­try that cul­mi­nated into….” ‘Cul­mi­nate’ takes ‘in’.

“Lon­don was ac­tu­ally con­stantly un­der siege un­til he was even­tu­ally ex­tra­dited back to Nige­ria….” The Guardian is not on trial, but let us delete ‘back’ from the ex­tract for all par­ties’ col­lec­tive gram­mat­i­cal san­ity.

From the pre­ced­ing dis­eased head­line to this ju­ve­nile slip­shod­ness: “Doc­tors sus­pend stike in Kaduna, Ebonyi” Even the com­puter un­der­scored this strike care­less­ness from the same page as above! Do we still have edi­to­rial bas­tions (proof­read­ers) this time round? Re­mem­ber: not ‘this time around’, which is an Amer­i­can ex­pres­sion!

As an aside, I rec­ol­lect my foun­da­tional en­try into jour­nal­ism on March 14, 1983, as a proof-reader in the hey­day of Daily Times! This cut­ting of teeth on read­ing and writ­ing un­der­pins what­ever mod­est pro­fes­sional at­tain­ments I have reached to­day and the con­comi­tant cur­rency of my ca­reer pro­file. The 1983 proof­read­ing class of fond me­mories com­prised Kenneth Chioma Ug­bechie, Isaac Hope An­u­mihe, Tony Ikhuen­i­tiju (now Olu­muyiwa) and Olao­sun Okalan­won un­der the head read­er­ship of Mr. Abu Olaren­waju, a de­trib­al­ized Nige­rian and an ur­bane gen­tle­man.

Lastly from THE PUNCH un­der ‘cros­sex­am­i­na­tion’ af­ter my his­tor­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion: “The fa­cil­ity will re­sult in im­proved se­cu­rity pro­file of the In­ter­net traf­fic and save the na­tion of the em­bar­rass­ment of….” Info-tech: save the na­tion the em­bar­rass­ment of….

“The PDP last Thurs­day held its spe­cial na­tional con­ven­tion to elect the party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in the gen­eral elec­tions next Fe­bru­ary.” Cover Story: Fe­bru­ary 2017 (last April); Fe­bru­ary 2018 (this Fe­bru­ary) and Fe­bru­ary 2019 (next Fe­bru­ary). Any ap­peal?

“Renowned film­mak­ers will con­verge in (on) Nige­ria next week for….”

“Voice of the Elec­torate (V.O.T.E) con­grat­u­lates PDP del­e­gates na­tion­wide for (on/ upon) defin­ing his­tory….” (Sa­cred­ness of ad­ver­tise­ment copies notwith­stand­ing)!

THE PUNCH OPIN­ION of Novem­ber 10, 2018, cir­cu­lated two goofs: “Po­lit­i­cally, ex­perts in IT ad­vo­cated for the use of e-vot­ing sys­tem….” Once again, ‘ad­vo­cate’ when used as a verb does not ad­mit ‘for’.

“There will be what I call en­riched mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence come 2019 through mo­bile money….” ICT de­vel­op­ment: ex­pe­ri­ence in 2019.

“…to­day’s pres­i­den­tial pri­mary may be rid­dled with so much (many) un­der­hand deals and sharp prac­tices.” What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween ‘un­der­hand deals’ and ‘sharp prac­tices’? The lat­ter should sub­sume the for­mer! An aside: ‘much’ in­stead of ‘many’?

“In do­ing so (a coma) some of the gov­ern­ment’s sup­port­ers may cer­tainly have over­stepped the bound of pro­pri­ety….” From the other side: the bounds of pro­pri­ety.

“Re­ac­tions to this po­si­tion have been pour­ing in, and it’s highly elat­ing that most share same po­si­tion.” This way: most share the same po­si­tion.

“Ma­jor­ity of Nige­ri­ans are of the opin­ion that a coun­try roundly blessed has no busi­ness tot­ter­ing at the brink of dis­in­te­gra­tion and col­lapse.” A/the ma­jor­ity of Nige­ri­ans….

“NURTW boss com­mends mem­bers over (for) La­gos LG elec­tions”

The next in­frac­tion is from the Edi­to­rial of the above edi­tion: “As we have (had) noted in pre­vi­ous ed­i­to­ri­als….”

“ICT cen­tre for school pupils” (Source: as above) I be­lieve we should do away with ‘school’ here be­cause it is im­plied—just as it would be wrong to say ‘school stu­dents’. I ad­mit that ‘pupi­lage’ and ‘stu­dentship’ can, by ex­trap­o­la­tion, ap­ply to other spheres of life, but the scholas­tic con­text here is clear.

“All glory be to God for given (giv­ing) us op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

“…par­ents of the grad­u­at­ing stu­dents, press­men (jour­nal­ists), and other in­vi­tees (guests, prefer­ably).”

“The next Par­ent-Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion meet­ing comes up on….” Get it right: Par­en­tTeacher As­so­ci­a­tion

“All ma­te­ri­als that are con­tra­bands (con­tra­band) will not only be seized but ap­pro­pri­ate (would it have been ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate’?) sanc­tions will be ad­min­is­tered on (to) the erring stu­dent.”

Fi­nally from ‘Up Grams’, founded June 6, 1859: “On (In) the same vein….” Up School, Up Boys! If this ci­tadel claims to be the old­est and the best, gram­mat­i­cal sole­cisms in its pub­li­ca­tions for pub­lic con­sump­tion should be an anath­ema.

DAILY SUN of Novem­ber 26 com­mit­ted lex­i­cal crimes: “68-year-old man, 2 oth­ers ar­raigned over (on) mur­der of okada rider”

“La­gos serves owners of il­le­gal struc­tures 48 hours (hours’) no­tice” (Source: as above)

“…the great­ness of our coun­try are (is) a com­bi­na­tion of….”

“Chair­man of Govs (Govs’) Fo­rum leads del­e­ga­tion, par­ley holds to­day”

“For­mer gover­nor of Abia State and top chief­tain (and a chief­tain) of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, said he has (had) been vin­di­cated by the re­cent visit of the APC…to Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari in Lon­don.”

“FG flags-off (sic) (starts) first mod­u­lar re­finer­ies next month—Pres­i­dency” First, phrasal verbs ab­hor hy­phen­ation.

‘Flag off’ is one of the sport­ing ter­mi­nolo­gies used dur­ing a com­pe­ti­tion like mo­tor/ mo­tor­bike/bike racing. Over­time, some Nige­ri­ans have mis­ap­plied it to the ‘com­mence­ment’ of vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing.

“Osun State, on the other hand, has its own wholly state-owned univer­sity at Oshogbo, to­gether with other ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions which do not suf­fer the ne­glect which ap­pear (ap­pears) presently (this is otiose) re­served for LAUTECH.”

“It, in­deed, shows how lowly we take mat­ters of ed­u­ca­tion which or­di­nar­ily should be the solid build­ing block for our na­tional de­vel­op­ment.” Yank off ‘solid’ from the ex­tract be­cause a build­ing block is a wall made of con­crete blocks, which is con­fir­ma­tory of so­lid­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.