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‘Felicitate With’ Incorrect

Jul 28, 2023Jul 28, 2023

Ebere Wabara

YOU are welcome to the language clinic. “Gov. Otti’s flood control (flood-control) measures”

“…we are delighted to have midwifed (sic) this game change (game-change) project.” You can also do without the last word.

“South South & South East Traditional Rulers (Rulers’) Forum”

“Please, take note that after 15 days of this notice, unclaimed products would be disposed off (of).”

“The Management and Staff of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC felicitates (felicitate) with….” Delete ‘with’ and continue.

THISDAY of July 15 contained 10 infelicities: “GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup 2023 Season IV Finals” Playing by the rules: Principal’s Cup

“World Bank disburse (disburses) N209m to 3000 farmers in Kano State”

“Or has the government run out of ideas that warrant (warrants) giving out public funds at will….” ‘Run’ is the verb determinant—not ‘ideas’.

“…on a biking trip at (on) the outskirts of Abuja”

Still on THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER under review: “…recently announced his intention to run for the 2027 Imo State governorship election under (on) the platform of Labour Party.”

“Benue, Nasarawa to tighten security over Fulani herdsmen invasion” NewsXtra: herdsmen’s invasion

“When was the last time any political office holder resigned their appointment on the ground (on grounds) of public opprobrium?”

“The ICAN Ikeja District Society July-September 2023 Training Calender” (Half-page advertisement) Spell-check: calendar

“It is believed in some quarters that the Nigerian Police has….” (THE NATION, April 6) Get it right: the Nigerian Police have.

The next five blunders are from Daily Trust of April 5: “And the leaders, being new on the saddle of political leadership (another comma) were.…” The challenges of good grammar: in the saddle.

“Efforts by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his group to remove Akintola from office was (were) fiercely resisted.” Why the discord?

“As a new democracy, there was (were) bound to be problems.”

“In the course of the crisis, Awo and some of his lieutenants were arrested and charged for (with)….”

“The ethnic colouration of the coup led to a counter coup (a hyphen) in July 1966.” Spell-check: coloration.

“Have the previous exercises impacted meaningfully on the lives (life) of the average Nigerian?”

“This could not have been possible if they had been outrightly liquidated.” ‘Outrightly’ is a Nigerian creation! The right word ‘outright’ functions as an adverb and an adjective. Therefore, it does not require any inflexion. In other words: This could not have been possible if they had been liquidated outright. Even at that, ‘liquidation’ does not need any qualification because of its causative finality. So, if they had been liquidated.

‘Reopening’ abhors hyphenation. It is not automatic that any word with a prefix must go with a hyphen, except where there is a vowel replication. For instance: re-entry, but readmit, readjust, etcetera.

“Legislators, oil chiefs parley on industry enhancing issues” Imagine the classical excellence a hyphen between ‘industry’ and ‘enhancing’ would have conferred on the headline.

“I said these are (were) beggars and I told my wife I better (I had better) get money ready for them.”

“…the grassroots population of our people will remain the lifewire of the UBE scheme.” Adult literacy: livewire.

“The remains of the Ovie, sources in the town revealed, was (were) later tied….”


“REGARDLESS of the un-abating disregard, if not for conceited non-recognition of your (and the late Bayo Oguntunase’s) modest effort at bringing people back to the path of syntactical and morphological sanity week in week out, your journalist colleagues remain obstinately incorrigible. It is howlers galore! If it is not ‘flagging off’, it is ‘commissioning’! All in the wrong contexts: do not let the flag go down. There are many out there, especially teachers of the English language, who avail themselves of your weekly contributions. Do not be dissuaded. Stay blessed.” (Folorunso Babafemi/Babfranc Educational Services/Ilesa/08133197524)

“MARK you, ‘shorthand for something’ is a phrasal idiom, hence ‘telly’ is shorthand for television, ‘fan’ is shorthand for fanatic, ‘uplift’ is shorthand for upliftment, ‘hive’ is shorthand for beehive, etc. ‘Upliftment’, like ‘uplifter’, has gained currency.” (Ken Ugbechie, publisher of Political Economist and author of Nigeria Heroes and Sheroes)

“‘THERE’S is no country like Nigeria’ means that Nigeria is a figment of the imagination, whereas what is meant is that there is no other country like Nigeria.” (Jacob Oluyemi/08104036139)

“EBERE, I told you in our telephone discussion, months ago, that some Nigerians would want to defend the spurious use of local coinages and expressions like ‘upliftment’, ‘project commissioning’, ‘the governor gave the charge…’, ‘school run’ and ‘challenges’ in the face of huge socio-economic problems etc. Even the U.S. and European countries admit their problems! Ebere, please they may not understand and appreciate the value of your uncommon research effort in the practice of journalism in Nigeria. We used to say ‘news break’, but today it’s ‘breaking news’. That’s the dynamic nature of journalism that Ebere is attempting to signalize.

“The ignorance persists because journalism teachers and Heads of News in NTA and FRCN are unable to follow these changes over time. Apart from misleading and indoctrinating the public, they continue to pollute the standard and vibrancy of the profession. This problem is a challenge to the NUJ. Imagine the flagship of radio broadcasting in Nigeria still refers to all her reporters as ’correspondents’ instead of differentiating them as we have today! Therefore, the NUJ should come out with a well-researched or well-grounded professional journal to give direction and ensure an acceptable standard. It can start off with quarterly publications. Ebere, please do not be discouraged. Keep it up!” (Sunny Agbontaen/08062998165)

This paragraph was also contributed by Mr. Ugbechie: “…high tension wires fell off and electrocuted people to death….” What is electrocution? Kindly yank away ‘to death’! “The party chairman left for the Abuja Airport en route (from where to) Yola” (Both errors were extracted from THE NATION ON SUNDAY, July 16) Your readers cherish your competence in the use of modern English, not the brand consigned to the Dark Ages as noted in your response to one of your copious readers a fortnight ago.”

Ebere Wabara