We resume with a Special Edition of Editorial Conference contributed by a veteran in the business, Mr Ben Egbuna.
  1. We should pray without seizing. (By fire by force!)

Cease /’si:s/ and seize /’si:z/ sound the same but are not pronounced the same way and do not mean the same thing. To cease is to come to an end or bring to an end while to seize is to take suddenly or to take by force.


We should pray without ceasing.

Note: We can also pray without season /ˈsiːz(ə)n/; that is, in and out of season (not during a particular season)

2. Like I said before, we should pray without ceasing. (Yes, Sir!)

There is a thin difference between like I said and as I said.

Like I said may be used in informal situations while as I said is more acceptable in formal writing. When you are writing, you are not saying.


Like I said before, we should pray without ceasing. (Spoken/Informal)

As I said before, we should pray without ceasing. (Written/formal)

The question that arises is, “Why not As I wrote before? It is implied because you are writing; meaning as stated in your writing before.

However, to avoid the nuance controversy, you may simply put it this way: As I stated before; which is acceptable in both speech and writing.

3. Mr Tokandu is the spokesman of the agency. (Really?)

A spokesman/spokesperson is one who speaks for another or an entity.


Mr Tokandu is the spokesman for the agency.

4. The fraudster will be charged to court. (Good for him!)

QUESTION: Is a crime suspect charged to church or prison, or any other place than the court? Usually, when you press charges, it means you are making a formal legal complaint which would result in the offender being arraigned in court.


The fraudster will be arraigned in court.

Note that a suspect may also be arraigned in Parliament (made to appear before Parliament), usually for impeachment purposes.

5. They were caught in a hale of bullets. (Hail Mary!)

A clear case of malapropism. Hale and hail are pronounced the same way /’heil/ but do not mean the same thing. Hail is described as pellets of frozen rain which fall in showers or a large number of small objects falling down forcefully. Hale is used to describe a person, especially an old person, who is strong and healthy or in good health. Hence the common expression hale and hearty.


They were caught in a hail of bullets.

6. His house is located between Ikoyi to Lekki. (Big man.)

The preposition between means in or along the space separating two objects/places or in the period separating two points in time.

The correct expression is:

His house is located between Ikoyi and Lekki.

Note  also that it is wrong to say: He ruled between 1984-1988 (meaning between 1984 to 1988)

Correct: He ruled between 1984 and 1988 or He ruled from 1984 to 1988.

7. We have great confidence on our president. (Okay now.)

The Oxford Living Dictionary defines confidence as the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something with the following example:

We had every confidence in the staff.

Note: You have confidence in but rely on.


We have great confidence in our president.

We rely on our president to take us out of recession.

8. Manchester United won Ajax. (Nice trophy!)

Question: Is Ajax a trophy? You beat or defeat a team and win a trophy.


Manchester United beat/defeated Ajax (and won the Europa Cup)

9. We need to pull our resources together. (Why?)

Malapropism again! Pull /pʊl/and pool /pu:l/are not pronounced the same and do not mean the same thing. To pull is to exert force on (someone or something) so as to cause movement towards oneself. The Macmillan Dictionary defines pool as to share something such as money, ideas, equipment etc., with a group of people, especially so that they can work more effectively together; with the following example:

It seemed sensible for us to pool our resources.


We need to pool our resources.

Note that together has been thrown into the waste basket because it is redundant. (Does not add additional value to the meaning of the sentence)

10. They live in a high rising building. (Rising every day?)

Emporis Standards, (a building information/standards specifications organisation) defines a high-rise as “A multi-story structure between 35–100 meters tall, or a building of unknown height from 12–39 floors.”


They live in a high-rise.

Note that building is discarded because it is redundant.

Appreciation: Special edition contributed by Mr Ben Egbuna, Former Executive Director News (Voice of Nigeria) and Former Director General (Radio Nigeria)

 Additional side comments by NewsPlus.



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  1. Comment: Mr Ben Egbuna, a sound user and writer of the British Standard English, has succintly demonstrated his skill. Well done.


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