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50+ Bad English in Nigeria: What You Need to Know

Bad English in Nigeria

Language evolves and adapts across cultures, but some linguistic misconceptions persist. Examine common phrases and terms to understand their significance in diverse cultures Bad English in Nigeria.

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  1. Trafficate/Trafficator vs. Indicator
    • In vehicular language, “Indicator” is the apt term for signaling direction. The phrase “Use your indicator” resonates clearer than the non-existent “trafficate.” “Trafficator” is an outdated term for a device on vehicles.
  2. Night Vigil: Redundancy in Vigil
    • “Vigil” inherently implies a period of quietness at night, rendering the inclusion of “Night” redundant. Simplify and call it what it is—a “Vigil.”
  3. On/Off The Light: Adding Clarity
    • Enhance clarity by adding “Switch” to the instruction. “Switch On the light/Switch Off the light” ensures precision in communication, applicable to various objects.
  4. Reverse Back: The Unnecessary Addition
    • The term “Reverse” itself implies backward motion, eliminating the need for “Back.” Streamline your language by using “Reverse” alone.
  5. Next Tomorrow vs. Day After Tomorrow
    • Avoid confusion by using the universally recognized term “Day After Tomorrow” instead of the less standard “Next Tomorrow.”
  6. Cattle Rearer vs. Cattle Herder
    • Embrace accuracy by employing “Cattle Herder” to describe those tending to cattle, rather than the non-standard “Cattle Rearer.”
  7. Convocate vs. Convoke: Calling Together
    • The archaic term “Convocate” is often misused in graduation contexts. Opt for the correct term “Convoke” to signify calling together or assembling.
  8. Plate Number vs. Number Plate
    • Align with proper English usage by using “Number Plate” instead of the reversed form “Plate Number.”
  9. Barb/Barbing: Haircut Terminology
    • Correct the misconception that “Barb/Barbing” relates to haircuts; rather, it refers to a sharp projection. Instead, use “Barbering” or refer to the act as “getting a haircut at the Barbershop.”
  10. Short Knicker: Terminological Precision
    • Depending on regional preferences, use either “Knickers” or “Shorts” to describe the garment; avoid the hybrid “Short Knicker.”
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Bad English in Nigeria
Bad English in Nigeria

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Most of us make grammar errors, but it’s not a concern as English is not our language. To speak English properly, we must try our best. Common errors in English sentences and their corrections are listed below. These examples highlight common mistakes we make in English.

Incorrect Corrected
I want to barb my hair I want to barber my hair
Barbing salon Barbershop
You’re taking it personal You’re taking it personally
He is matured He is mature / He has matured
The reason is because The reason is that
My stuffs My stuff
Night vigil Vigil
Traveling bag Travel Bag
As at when due As and when due
Be rest assured Rest assured
I’m hearing you I can hear you
My names are My name is
All manners of All manner of
She delivered a baby boy She was delivered of a baby boy
Lacking behind Lagging behind
Crack your brain Rack your brain
Return it back Return it
Nigeria comprises of 36 states Nigeria comprises 36 states / Nigeria is comprised of 36 states
Wake keeping Wake keep / Wake
Exercise patience Be patient
Barbing saloon Barbershop
I forgot my phone at home I left my phone at home
Borrow me your pen Lend me your pen / May I borrow your pen
More grease to your elbow More power to your elbow
Funny enough, I’ve never liked him Funnily enough, I’ve never liked him
My body is scratching me My body itches
Letterhead paper Letterhead
I’m not your mate We’re not mates
You’re mannerless You’re ill-mannered
Horn at the car in front Honk at the car in front
Happy birthday in arrears Happy belated birthday
I will sleep at 10 pm I will go to bed at 10 pm
Just when I thought I have seen it all Just when I thought I had seen it all
First come, First serve First come, First served
Please dash me Please hand it on to me / Please give me
I have a running nose I have a runny nose
I have a running stomach I have a runny stomach / I have an upset stomach
Working Experience Work Experience
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Language nuances reflect cultural diversity and historical usage, facilitating clearer communication across diverse audiences. Understanding these linguistic subtleties allows for exploration and adaptation, enabling us to navigate communication with accuracy and finesse, despite some phrases appearing correct in certain contexts.

Bad English in Nigeria

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