Art and Culture

‘Pomp and Pageantry’ Wrong

todayAugust 6, 2022

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EXPRESSION BY Ebere Wabara

DAILY INDEPENDENT of July 18 welcomes us this week: “Sanwo-Olu nabs 2 military officers driving on BRT” Let us get it right. ‘BRT’ stands for Bus Rapid Transit. So, the ebullient governor arrested them on BRT Lane—not on BRT! It is well with our governor and Eko!

From Ogba we move to Rutam House of THE GUARDIAN where two lines in its July 17 edition embarrassed the elite readership: “…the SUV conveying their victims at the rear bend corner along the road.” Conscience, Nurtured by Truth: either ‘bend’ or ‘corner’. The two words cannot co-function in this age. This was acceptable in pre-colonial days! It reminds one of expressions like ‘a.m. in the morning’/‘log of wood’/‘extreme end’/’reason why’/’still yet’/’so therefore’, et al.

“El-Rufai mourns student’s death” The governor certainly mourned the student—not his death. Let me not comment further before some irredeemably incorrigible and faceless readers of this column send to me vexatious messages on my ‘stylistic brashness, rude analyses and intellectual haughtiness’! All for this writer? Who will intercede for me?

THE GUARDIAN of July 10 backs today’s infamy class: “Don alerts on looming infectious epidemic due to floods” No news: Don alerts to (not on)…

“NCC, MTN unites against pre-registered SIMs” Let us avoid Business English in formal writing: unite

“NNPC to re-open (reopen) moribund Aba depot”

“D’Tigers claws its way into Olympics history” Lexical sportsmanship: Olympic history

“…if she puts her acts (act) together.” (National News, July 12)

“Ekiti land tussle suit adjourned for out of court settlement” (Source: as above) Community Mirror: out-of-court settlement.

Please note: a feather in one’s (my/your/his/her) cap—not a feather to one’s…cap. 

“…what is stressed here is that a Nigerian version of the publishing revolution took place in the face of several odds and the fall-outs are still very much with us.” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, June 28) ‘Fallout’ is non-count and has no hyphen. 

“The police appears unable to fish them out because of the barrier of national boundaries.”  Tense security: the police appear unable….

“It was in the hey-days (heyday) of the Babangida administration.”

“And hidden in the quiet suburbs of Yaba is an agency which has laid a virtual siege on (to) the pages of the national press….”

“Shipping companies brace-up for war over tarriff pegging.”  Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.  And this: tariff.

“Trouble however started when security personnels at the stadium….” ‘Personnel’ is uncountable.

“I was a witness to a very moving event recently at the Idimu Police Station at the outskirts of Lagos.”  From A to B: on the outskirts.

“A strong grassroot force has to be in the drivers (sic) seat for the targeted poverty programme.”  Richness of language: grassroots and driver’s seat.

“The poor has (have) to see themselves properly involved in the programme.”  How does it sound?  The poor think more about money than the rich!

“Its importance is based on the fact that had Christ resurrected from the dead….” ‘From the dead’ is otiose because it is implied.

“Government should take the bull by the horn and dismiss the latest PHCN tariff hike….” No blackout: take the bull by the horns.

“Nigeria needs a judiciary that would neither be intimidated or humiliated like the James Ibori case.” Neither…nor and either…or. No carelessness!

“The culprit was repatriated back last week.” (NTA Network News, July 21) Why the overkill? Please, yank away ‘back’ in the interest of Freedom of Information (FoI).

“This is because the governor was not really in the good book of the electorate” A fall foreseen: in the good/bad books of the electorate.

“Hunger is threatening to crush majority of our citizens.”  The shape of things to come: a (take note) majority of our citizens. It is no longer a threat—a hapless reality that is enjoying currency amid leadership poverty and incapacity!

“…money and other inducements to get the electorates vote for them.” Simply, the electorate.

“The type of exotic jewelleries (jewellery) you can find at museum shops….”  ‘Jewellery’ is uncountable. For those who subscribe to Americanism, ‘jewelry’ is acceptable—and unacceptable to those of us stuck to Standard English.

 “…the president of the country can be harassed with a degree that bothers (borders) on flippancy….”

“The noise have (has) been deafening about imposition of candidates by PDP.…”

“Sometimes (Sometime) around (about) 9.35 a.m. a convoy of six cars comprising of a….” Do away with the second ‘of’ in the extract.

“There were sporadic explosions while the cars were burning apparently due to remnants of ammunitions.”  ‘Ammunition’ does not take any inflexion.

“Beyond the cloud, pomp and pageantry….”  Either pomp and ceremony or pomp and circumstance. In classical cases, just ‘pomp’ will suffice.

“As the saying goes, money is the root of all evils”.  From my file, the love of money (not money itself) is the root of all evils.

“Also, at the onset (outset) of the computer revolution….” There is a clear distinction between ‘onset’ (which has an inherence of violence) and ‘outset’ (beginning, commencement).

“The naira permitted it’s (its) designers to inflict….”

“The development aroused his curiousity and we soon displayed all the denominations of the naira.…”  Spell-check: curiosity.

“Beyond mere symbols of ethnic jingoism which may prove difficult for the ordinary man in the street to identify….” ‘The man in the street’ does not require any embellishment such as ’ordinary’ because the man is simply ordinary.

“….eyes where poor man (a poor man) can own mansions in (on) Victoria Island.”

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todayAugust 6, 2022

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