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[WORD PORN] PART I-COMMON SPELLING ERRORS BY NIGERIANS PLEASE READ:

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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1. “Goodluck .”This is probably the most misspelled word
in Nigeria today. The reason is obvious: it’s the first
name of Nigeria’s current president, Goodluck Jonathan.
But there is no word like “goodluck”–or, its other
variant,badluck– in the English language; there is only
“good luck”–and “bad luck.” Good luck denotes an
auspicious state resulting from favorable outcomes, a
stroke of luck, or an unexpected piece of good fortune.
That someone would be named “Good Luck” (which has
now been rendered “Goodluck” in error) is itself evidence
of insufficient familiarity with the rules and idiomatic
rhythm of the English language.
2. “Defination .”There is no letter “a” in the spelling of
that word. Replace the “a” with an “i” to
have“definItion.”Related misspelled words
are“definAtely”instead of “definitely,”“definAte,” instead
of “definIte,” etc.
3. “Alot .”That is not an English word. The closest
resemblance to that word in the English language is the
phrase “a lot.” Since no one writes “alittle,” “afew,” “abit,”
etc, it is indefensible that people write “alot.” But this is
a universal spelling error in the English-speaking world;
it is not limited to Nigerians. Other cousins of this
spelling error are“Infact”instead of “in fact”
and“inspite”instead of “in spite.”
4. “Loose/lose .”Many Nigerians use the word “loose”
when they actually mean to write “lose.” Loose is
commonly used as an adjective to denote the state of
not being tight (as in: loose clothes). Other popular uses
include the sense of being casual and unrestrained in
intimate behavior (as in: loose women), lacking a sense
of restraint or responsibility (as in: “Goodluck
Jonathan’s loose tongue”). Although “loose” can
sometimes be used as a verb, “loosen” is the preferred
word to express the sense of making something less
tight or strict. “Lose,” on the hand, is to cease to have,
or to fail to win, or suffer the loss of a person through
death, etc. A safe bet is to choose to err on the side of
“lose” when you want to express an action.
5. “Priviledge .”There is no “d” in the spelling of that
word. It’s spelled “privilege.”
6. “Nonchallant .”It’s actually spelled with only one “l.”
Unfortunately, even news reports in Nigerian
newspapers habitually spell the word with double “l.” I
wonder if they’ve disabled their spell check.
7. “Grammer. ”There is no “e” in the word. Replace the
pesky “e” with an “a” to have “grammAr.” I’ve read posts
on Nigerian Internet discussion forums and on Facebook
railing against “bad grammer”! Well, if you feel
sufficiently concerned about bad grammar to write
about it, you’d better damn well know how to spell
grammar! To be fair, this misspelling isn’t exclusively
Nigerian, but its regularity in popular writing in Nigeria
qualifies it as a candidate for this list. The people I
have a hard time forgiving are those who attend or
attended secondary schools with “grammar school” as
part of their names (such as my old secondary school,
which is called Baptist Grammar School) but spell
“grammar” with an “e.” I see that a lot on Facebook.
Such people deserve to be stripped of the certificates
they got from their high schools!
8. “Proffessor .”The name for the highest ranking
position for a university academic (in British usage) and
any full-time or part-time member of the teaching staff
of a university (in American usage) is never spelled with
double “f.” It’s correctly spelled “professor.” So if
“proffessor” is wrong,“proff”is equally wrong. The British
and Canadian colloquial abbreviation for “professor” is
“prof.”
9. “Pronounciation .” Although the verb form of this word
is “pronounce,” it changes to “pronunciation” when it
nominalizes, that is, when it changes into a noun. Note
that there is no “o” after the first “n” in the word.
10. “ Emanciated.”It should correctly be spelled
“emaciated.” There is no “n” in the word. This
widespread spelling error in Nigerian written English is
the direct result of the way we (mis)pronounce the
word. An “n” sound almost always intrudes on our
pronunciation of the word, much like it does in our
pronunciation of “attorney,” so that most Nigerians say
“antoni-general” of the federation. A related misspelling
is“expantiate.”It should be “expatiate.” There is no “n”
after the first “a.”

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