‘Rub Minds’ Incorrect

Ebere Wabara

VANGUARD of September 30 ended the month on a lexical sour note beginning from its Views Page, as usual: “The gap between the rich and the poor is constantly widening as there is no concerted efforts (effort) by the powers that be (powers-that-be) to….”

“This explains the incidents of rural-urban drifts that have worsen (worsened) the security challenges in the cities.”

“NANS condones (condoles) with Irukwu’s family”

“Sarsoli flys (flies) Nigerian flag high at K2023 fair in Germany”

From Vanguard schoolboy blunders we move over to The Guardian of October 9 which nurtured two falsehoods: “Our committee has the responsibility to oversight (oversee) BPP….”

“…it is not to intimidate or witch-hunt them but to rub minds (dialogue, exchange ideas, discuss, talk, converse—not ‘rub minds’!) and enlighten….” How do you even ‘rub minds’?

THISDAY of October 6 grappled with basic grammar: “…the debate had far progressed beyond the introductory stage to the question and answer (question-and-answer) session.

“…has congratulated the National U-17 team, Golden Eaglets (another comma) for (on/upon) qualifying for the next….”

“But the minister seems to have swam (swum) into troubled waters recently with allegations ranging from insensitivity to abuse of office….”

From THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER we cross over to THE NATION ON SUNDAY of October 8: “Voters apathy mars election” News: Voter apathy…

“The presidency, also aware of its interests, may do same (the same).”

“…takes a look at the fallouts, recent studies and how women are coping.” New WOMAN: ‘fallout’ is uncountable.

“Snoop Dogg, others join the EMA’s bandwagon” Entertainment plus: climb/jump (not join) on the bandwagon

“S’West PDP passes confidence vote on (in)…”

“Rep debunks report of decamping (defection) to APC”

The PUNCH homes & property of September 2 goofed: “NEMA warns against building in flood prone (flood-prone) areas”

“Ecobank toll free (toll-free) number…The Pan African (Pan-Africa) Bank” (Full-page advertisement)

THE NATION ON SUNDAY of October 1 started the month on a faulty note all through most of the pages: “Bride or masquerade?” The mask/effigy/masquerade is the object worn by a masquerader. Therefore: bride or masquerader?

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“Bamanga calls Atiku, others treacherous” This is impossible because ‘treacherous’ is an adjective. The man called them traitors.

“Soludo assures support for construction of Nnewi mall” How can the governor assure support? The governor did not assure ‘support’—he either elicited support or gave an assurance of support to some people.”

 “I wish you the protection of Almighty God and all your heart desires.” Get it right: heart’s desire (take note of the apostrophe and ‘desire’—not ‘desires’)!

“I and my family (My family and I—that is, if at all there should be separation since ‘I’ is a constituent of the ‘family) feel proud to celebrate a genuine Nigerian patriot….” 

“We are all living witnesses to Yar’Adua Part 1” I am a witness, not a ‘living or dead’ witness!

Still on THE SUNDAY NATION under review: “The meeting of the Patriots with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja, few days (a few days) to this week’s National Political Summit in Uyo….”

“Copy her two colour (two-colour) look”

Saturday PUNCH of September 30 goofed: “I won four golds as a nursing mother…” ‘The most widely-read newspaper’: four gold medals

Daily Trust of August 29 continues the race with a few infractions: “The privilege (privileged) class has taken over virtually everything….”

“…power show in the country is choking the common man on the street….” My own view: the man/woman in the street (also the man/woman on the street) ‘Commonness’ is implied!

“…and that these have the potential to trigger off crisis (a crisis) the end of which nobody could fathom.”

Next is a special extract from the edition under review: “Reports said no fewer than 44 people were slaughtered penultimate Tuesday night by some unknown gunmen (we can never know the gunmen—so spare readers the ‘unknown’ trite!) at Dumba village on the outskirt (outskirts) of Baga town in the Kukawa Local Government Area of the state.”

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“Our members have earned the allowances by working for the money and therefore we are not begging for crump (crumbs) from government.”

“She said the motive is (was) still unknown….”

Lastly from Daily Trust under examination: “Police cordons town hall over crisis” A rewrite: Police cordon off town hall after crisis

Daily Independent Online of August 28 committed juvenile errors: “…dignitaries at the event took their turn (turns) to thrash out the problems politicians have infested Nigeria with.”

“Fresh 3,000 jobs in Osun as Aregbesola commissions (inaugurates) garment factory”

“Influx of people stretch (stretches) our security—FCT CP”

“UN seeks Nigeria’s help to (at) restoring constitutional order in (to) Guinea Bissau”

THE NATION ON SUNDAY of October 1 fumbled copiously: “…Ehoe division responded to a distress call at about 3.30pm (at 3.30 p.m.) that….”

“Traders commend FG over (for) intervention on (in) closed shops”

“…in this interview with reporters, he said the North’s allegations that they are currently marginalized was (were) baseless….”

Daily Trust of August 21 offered readers clownish mistakes: “4 family members arrested in Abia over murder of kinsman” A rewrite: 4 family members arrested for kinsman’s murder


IT is the broadcast media that are to blame for misleading the public through ‘assumption’. The general tendency has persisted because there are no fatalities or costly impact as in medicine or engineering. Now it is WRONG to refer to policemen or military personnel as security operatives. They don’t belong to the ‘official’ government security forces. Therefore security operatives are mere private security-men with some level of training in the field. In the past, they were called ‘watchmen’. Words and phrases freely abused in Nigeria are ‘severally’, ‘media parley’, ‘general election’, ‘charges’. ‘hitch’/’glitch’, etcetera. We now have an array of sources to learn from. Today’s journalism is knowledge driven.

Sunny Agbontaen, 

Benin City


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