Sanwo-Olus marching orders | LIVE TODAY


EXPRESSION By Ebere Wabara

YOU are welcome today: “Dressed in black (clad) you came into contact with …”

“I am only making this contribution because of an unusually heavy rain (because a downpour) …” We can also speak of “torrential rain”, but certainly not of “heavy or torrential rain”, since the precipitation intensity is encapsulated in “rain rain”. In other contexts there are also “showers”, “drizzle”, “light / heavy rainfall” etc.

The September 4th Saturday Tribune missed its pay line for the “most informative newspaper” on two occasions: “Oil spill triggers fire outbreak” Tacitly “outbreak” is clearly unnecessary here. Hence, oil spill starts a fire.

“Salami refuses to hand over” In the past, the verb error was just the hyphenation. Now it’s awful (‘handover’) instead of ‘handover’! Let the truth, courage, and lexical fairness of 1949 still prevail.

“Funds shortage threatens Egbin power station” (DAILY SUN headline, August 22nd) A recurring case of subject-verb disagreement (S-VD): Funds are threatened….

“OBJ, IBB bite more than they can chew” (THE NATION, August 22) Both bite off more than they can.

“Below are some correspondence from BPE (Bureau of Public Enterprises) to BUA and Council Memo to Mr. President.” (Full-page advertisement by the management of the BUA Group) BPE box of worms: “Correspondence” is innumerable.

“Indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari said little and did even less (less)” (THE NATION AM SONNTAG, September 5)

“When trying to find the address near a hotel (on) the outskirts. …”

“Lagosians welcome the order to march from Sanwo-Olu for tanker drivers along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway” Solid expression: order to march.

“More fat on the elbow.” More power (not fat!) For the elbow of Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s epoch-making president.

“8 police officers arrested for extortion” When does police crime stop? You are always arrested for (not for) gun abuse (‘accidental discharge’), extortion and banditry!

“But even then, the workers were not openly involved in the arrests and detentions that followed” ‘detention’ innumerable

“In fact, it looks like the price hike on petroleum products has become an annual ritual.” Another S-VD embarrassment

“Female lawmakers angry about the treatment met with the minister.” No chauvinism: measured.

“… until 1998, when individuals and groups came together in Italy. …”

“I have conquered this strange land and it took the grace of God to survive.” What’s happening? ‘Throdded’ for ‘trod’?

“Given the fact during the 2019 election campaign in the country …” Buhari’s correct steps: “Campaign” means “campaign”. “So using these two words is morphological abuse.

“Unfortunately for the US government, the majority (a majority) of the UN members were not …”

“… since the leaders present would attack each other to attract the attention of world citizen number one …”

“Subsequent (successive) governments have shown no inclination to revise our antediluvian criminal justice system.”

“A television footage of the visit showed a heartbreaking scene of inmates kneeling and moaning and pleading with her to secure her release.”

“By leaving so many frivolous laws in (in) our law books …”

“One of Nigeria’s finest and groundbreaking professors (professors) in dentistry …”

“Real development on (on) the African continent cannot be achieved through coups.”

“Nigeria successfully reinstated the President of Sierra Leone (another comma) after he was deposed …”

“Although the government is still embarking on its second term …”

“Vans are usually the first to get workers to spend the lion’s share of their salaries on transportation (why not just transportation, that’s standard English; not the excerpt from Americanism?)

“Me and my wife have worked out the plan that …” No marriage coup, gentlemen: my wife and I hatched the plan.

“Community praises Wike for the development at the grassroots level” The community certainly praised the governor for the (not over) development at the grassroots level.

“10 arrested in Apapa Ports because of (for) hemp dumps.” Fixed expression: ‘arrest’ always lasts ‘for’ (never ‘over’). It’s not optional.

“Regarding the first question (a comma please) the answer will be two-pronged.” Choose between ‘regarding’ and ‘regarding’, which applies here.

“How I lost my lover to a bushy friend” From the flagship’s stable: Breasts.

“Nigeria’s speedster … in its heyday” Simply heyday (one word and not counting)

“They came to enjoy music, not to pay for a few hours of fun through their noses.”

“… the dead would have performed a dance of recognition with the honors they were given by their descendants.” ‘Offspring’ are innumerable.

“Today, not only is the civil war raging, but also the consequences of the wars …” ‘Fallout’ is innumerable.

“… the prospects of bilateral military cooperation between Nigeria and the USA in the crisis areas of West Africa …” One of the most fascinating aspects of the English language: trouble spots.


I appreciate your weekly analysis of the grammatical errors of our journalists who speak and write English as their first language (LI). I would like to take this opportunity to commend you for your great critical work, which is worth emulating. By Olanrewaju Temitope Adedapo (08156970191)

Thank you for your weekly media gaffes. Do we still have proofreaders and editors in our newspaper houses? Some of the recurring errors are too fundamental for reviewers to fail to notice before posting. I’m not a journalist, but we thought all of these things in English on an O’-level. Maybe the standard has dropped that much. Our children are in trouble apart from the intervention of someone like you. Please keep it up. Oladele (08057689906)

Here too, constructive criticism, remarks and comments are welcome.

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