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Basis for paving the way...

language-and-style1_2SAMPLE 1: 'According to the group, the former national chairman of the APC was merely acting a script, which was designed to create confusion and anxiety that would pave way for the emergence of a Yoruba as the next president, if eventually they succeed in shoving Buhari aside.'(Intrigues over Buhari, The Sunday Sun, 7 May, 2017)

I draw readers' attention to the expression, pave way, which occurs in the following context: 'that would pave way for the emergence.' The definite article (the) is missing between the verb pave and the noun way. Without that seemingly insignificant element the idiom is incomplete. The authentic idiom is: pave the way.

Now read the following sentences: 1) The removal of the manager paved the way for a thorough reorganization of the company. 2) The arrest of the mastermind paved the way for the arrests of a number other criminals in the neighbourhood. 3) The electrification of the area pavedthe way for the location of many industrial plants in the area. 4) Many old buildings were pulled down to pavethe way for the huge ultramodern commercial centre. 5) The cancellation of the old Modern Schools paved the way for the current 6-3-3 system of secondary education.

Sample 2: 'It was not the boost in my sales, but the impressions I had as I watched on daily basis their sales staff cart away loads of cash...The widespread publicity, beautiful outlets as well as the quality of food won the heart of many Nigerians who thronged the company's outlets in thousands on daily basis.'(Troubled Times for the Eatery Business, The Nation, Sunday 20 August, 2017)

Let's pay attention to the expression, 'on daily basis', which occurs twice as follows: 'I watched on daily basis'; 'thronged the company's outlets...on daily basis.'

We have made the point emphatically in an earlier discussion that there should be an indefinite article (a) before the word daily as another modifier of the noun basis. As a singular countable noun, the wordbasis requires that article.

Now read the following sentences: 1) The meeting holds on a regular basis. 2) The allowances are paid on a monthly basis. 3) The training sessions are held on anannual basis. 4) Workers are employed on a part-time basis. 5) Contrary to your view, there is a basis for rejecting the application. 6)Meetings are held on a monthly basis. 7) Children and adults should wash their teeth on a daily basis. 8) The police patrol the area on a weekly basis. 9) Methods and approaches are changed on a yearly basis. 10) Budgets are prepared and presented on an annual basis. 11) Guards are changed on a regular basis.

Note that in each of those sentences, the word basis is in its singular form. It is important to note the spelling. Note, in addition, that the word is modified by a/an. This modifier is obligatory.

Now compare those sentences with the following: 1) I have two bases for objecting to that proposal. 2) The philosophical bases for the argument are quite sound. 3) On both theological and moral bases, the idea is repugnant. 4) The chairman insisted that people must provide rational bases for their suggestions. 5) I am trying to examine the bases for the various arguments presented.

It is as ungrammatical to use the singular form (basis) without the indefinite article a pre-modifying it as it is to allow that word (a) to pre-modify the plural form (bases). You shouldn't say: 'She visits us on regular basis.' Rather say: 'She visits us on a regular basis.' Do not say: 'There are a sound bases for their arguments.' Rather say: 'There are sound bases for their arguments.'

Sample 3: 'His offence was that he was accused by his kinsmen for being involved in witchcraft which led the entire community to jointly banish him from the community after he was severely tortured.'(Witchcraft: Abia Community Banishes Man for 14 Years, The Nation, Sunday, June 25, 2017)

We are interested in the relationship between the verb accused and the particle for, both of which occur in the following context: 'he was accused...for being involved in witchcraft.' The collocation is faulty. You do not accuse people for being involved in a wrongdoing; you accuse them of doing so.

We have complained several times in this place about the habit of some Nigerians using particles arbitrarily in the contexts of idioms. Some Nigerians, following the dictates of their feelings and fancy, would delete particles where their presence is absolutely essential; bring in particles where they are complete strangers; freely substitute particles without any regard for the idiomatic character of the expressions involved; etc. Such carelessness and arbitrariness do violence to the idiomatic integrity of the expressions.

Instead of saying, for example, 'The revision was carried out piecemeal,' fellow Nigerians would say, 'The revision was carried out inpiecemeal.' Then you wonder where the particle in occurring immediately before the word piecemeal comes from. Of course, it would seem that the particle comes from a particular kind of construction involving the word piecemeal: 'The revision was carried out in a piecemeal fashion.' This is an idiomatic construction requiring the presence of the particle in, but this construction should not be confused with the earlier one in which the particle is intrusive.

Also, some Nigerians would allow the particle on to collocate with the verb emphasize. They would say, 'The chairman emphasized *on the need for probity in the handling of the company's affairs.' The proper thing to say is: 'The chairman emphasized the need for probity in the handling of the company's affairs.' Other defective sentences and their corrected versions are as follows: Defective: The professor emphasized *on the importance of regular reading as a means of developing one's capacity. Corrected version: The professor emphasized the importance of regular reading as a means of developing one's capacity. Defective: The doctor emphasized *on the need for exercise as a way of maintaining a healthy body. Corrected version: The doctor emphasized the need for regular exercise as a way of maintaining a healthy body. Defective: The guest lecturer encouraged the developing African nations to emphasize *on mechanized agriculture as a means of guaranteeing food security. Corrected version: The guest lecturer encouraged the developing African nations to emphasizemechanized agriculture as a means of guaranteeing food security. Defective: This regime is emphasizing *on training and re-training of staff. Corrected version: This regime is emphasizing training and re-training of staff. Defective: The instructor emphasized *on the need to maintain a clean and hygienic environment. Corrected version: The instructoremphasized the need to maintain a clean and hygienic environment.

Readers should note that although the verb emphasize does not take the particle on, the noun emphasis does. Please read the following sentences: 1) The new regime places emphasis on probity and accountability. (Compare: The new regime emphasizes probity and accountability.) 2) The emphasis in the western world is on increased technology. (Compare: The western world emphasizes increased technology.) 3) The emphasis here is on herbal medicine (Compare: Here we emphasize herbal medicine.) 4) The workshop will place emphasis on the participants' ability to pronounce words correctly. (Compare: The workshop will emphasize the participants' ability to pronounce words correctly.) 5) This government is placing emphasis on security. (Compare: This government is emphasizing security.) 6) Any training in English should lay emphasis on clarity of expression. (Compare: Any training in English should emphasize clarity of expression.)

Some users confuse the particle/preposition that should go with the verb prepare (or its noun preparation) with the one that goes with the adjective preparatory. They would say, preparatory for instead of preparatory to. Read the following sentences: 1a) We are preparing for exams. b) We have bought materials in preparation for exams. C) Materials have been bought preparatory to exams. 2a) We are preparingfor the construction work. b) We have cleared the site in preparation for the construction work. C) We have cleared the site preparatory to the commencement of construction work. 3a) INEC is preparing for elections. b) INEC has been procuring materials in preparation for elections. C) INEC has been procuring materials preparatory to the elections. 4a) We are preparingfor the meeting. b)The hall has been tidied up in preparation for the meeting. c) The hall has been tidied up preparatory to the meeting. 5) a) I am preparing for resumption. b) I have bought new books in preparation for resumption. c) I have bought new books preparatory to resumption. 6) a) The Super Eagles are preparing for the match. b) The Super Eagles have gone to the camp in preparation for the match. c) The Super Eagles have gone to the camp preparatory to the match.

Note the following: prepare for; preparation for; preparatory to.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Feb 18, 2018
Words:1577
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