January 07, 2020

The Reason Why “NICE” Is the Most Useless Word in the English Dictionary

The Reason Why “NICE” Is the Most Useless Word in the English Dictionary

The Reason Why “NICE” Is the Most Useless Word in the English Dictionary

The most useless word in the English dictionary is NICE. What is NICE? An ambiguous word that makes you want to please people and displease yourself. NICENESS is no virtue. NICE people come last! No one MARRIES, VOTES for, INVESTS in or PROMOTES a NICE guy. More than education, more than connection, more than luck, clarity of purpose is what you need to be successful. And you can't have clarity if you are nice. 


There are 9 fruit of the Spirit and none of them is niceness. Let me give an example. It is nice to be handsome, but it’s more profitable to be successful. The attractiveness of money does not depend on its looks, but on the value it has. The Zimbabwean dollar is beautiful but useless. Have value and you will be attractive.

© Reno Omokri 
Who Should be Called a "Dr"? A Physician or a PhD?

Who Should be Called a "Dr"? A Physician or a PhD?

There was an interesting Facebook conversation among a group of Nigerians last week on who, between medical doctors and PhDs, are more deserving to be addressed as "Dr." I've written about this before, so let me share my thoughts once again with people for whom this sort of thing is interesting.
Who Should be Called a "Dr"? A Physician or a PhD?

By convention, both medical doctors and PhDs can prefix “Dr.” to their names. But, here, there's a clash between etymology (origin and development of words) and pragmatics (how words are actually used by speakers of a language). 

The word “doctor” was historically used for teachers because it’s derived from the Latin verb docēre, which means “to teach.”  So “doctor of philosophy” meant “teacher of philosophy,” where “philosophy” meant what we now know as the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, that is, disciplines other than law, medicine, and theology which, as I showed two weeks ago, used to be called the "learned professions."

To insist that words must mean what they always meant from the beginning is called etymological fallacy. Language doesn't work that way.

In contemporary uses, people tend to first think of medical doctors before PhDs when the term “doctor” is mentioned. For instance, when I visited Nigeria after completing my PhD years ago, several of my mother’s friends came to ask that I give them medicines for all sorts of illnesses. When they heard that I had become a “doctor,” they assumed that I was a medical doctor.


I will never forget my mother’s response to her friends. She said, “This doctor doesn’t treat illnesses; he cures ignorance.” She said this even when she didn’t know that, etymologically, “doctor” meant one who teaches, in other  words, one who cures ignorance, although I think it’s a bit arrogant to assume that anyone one person, however knowledgeable, can cure all ignorance—or that  you need a doctorate to cure ignorance.

But the point is that modern usage associates “Dr.” more with medical practitioners than it does with PhDs.

That’s why the New York Times style guide reserves “Dr.” only for medical doctors, and uses “Mr.” for doctoral degree holders. If the doctoral degree holder’s qualification is relevant to the story, the paper would write something like, “Mr. Smith, who has a doctorate in physics, said…” 

Other American newspapers suffix “PhD” to the names of doctoral degree holders in news reports, as in, “John Smith, Ph.D., said it was unwise to let that happen.”

© Farooq Kperogi

December 30, 2019

Has Your Bank Debited Your Account for a Failed Transaction? Do This to Get a Refund in Few Minutes

Has Your Bank Debited Your Account for a Failed Transaction? Do This to Get a Refund in Few Minutes

I don't know who needs to see this, but if you have a failed transaction/transaction error with any Nigerian bank and it's taking more than normal to get your money back, here's all you need to do:

1. Send a mail to Central Bank's Consumer Protection Department (CPD) via the email address cpd@cbn.gov.ng with all the relevant details, and COPY (Cc) your bank's customer care email. See the image below.
Has Your Bank Debited Your Account for a Failed Transaction? Do This to Get a Refund in Few Minutes
2. Add a suitable subject to your email, e.g., NO REFUND FOR A FAILED TRANSACTION.

3. In the COMPOSE EMAIL box, state your complaint. Tell Central Bank what has really happened.

4. Endeavour to attach pictures, texts, or any relevant document as evidence.

5. State categorically that you are aware that there's an extra ₦10,000 fine to be paid to you as penalty and damages for the "stress and inconvenience" caused by your bank.

6. Click on the send button.

7. Take a chill pill and watch your bank reverse your money in 30 minutes.

See a testimony below.

December 27, 2019

The Reason Why the Use of the Phrase “Learned Colleague” Is Not Exclusive to Lawyers

The Reason Why the Use of the Phrase “Learned Colleague” Is Not Exclusive to Lawyers

For some reason, many--certainly not all--Nigerian lawyers have been socialized into thinking that only they and their profession are “learned.” That notion sprouts from a fundamental misunderstanding of terminologies. Let me unpack them here for those who’re interested.
The Reason Why the Use of the Phrase “Learned Colleague” Is Not Exclusive to Lawyers
“Learned profession” is an old English expression traditionally used to refer to medicine, theology, and law. They were called “learned” because of the disproportionately extensive intellectual preparation required to qualify to practice them, particularly in relation to the other vocations of the time. “Learned profession” never ever exclusively referred to law.

In contemporary English usage, any vocation that requires extensive specialized training is called a “profession.” In other words, “profession” has now replaced “learned profession.” If we were still to use the archaic expression “learned profession,” many professions would be called “learned.” But, somehow, some Nigerian lawyers are still stuck with the old expression—and erroneously think only their craft is a “learned profession.”

“My learned friend”— or “my learned colleague”— is a polite term of address that lawyers in British courts use when they address each other, especially if they are opponents. The term was introduced to enhance mutual courtesy in legal disputations.
Before the term was introduced, lawyers who argued on opposite sides of a case never used to even shake hands in the courts, and often used crude, coarse, unguarded putdowns to undermine each other. So “learned colleague”—or its many variants—is merely a term of courtesy, not an indication or claim of professional superiority in Britain. Many Nigerian lawyers don’t seem to know this.

American lawyers, for instance, don’t call each other “learned friend” or “learned colleague,” nor do they call their profession a “learned profession” or, worse, the “only learned profession”—as some self-important Nigerian lawyers tend to do.

It’s like American senators who routinely refer to their colleagues as “distinguished senator” out of conversational courtesy—just as British lawyers call each other “learned friend” or “learned colleague”—even when the colleagues may not really be “distinguished.” The Nigerian use of “distinguished senator” obviously owes lexical debt to America since, in any case, our democracy is modelled after theirs.

 However, only Nigerian senators capitalize the first letters in the expression, make it an honorific, and prefix it to their names, such as “Distinguished Senator (First name) (Last name).” In fact, “distinguished” has now become a standalone title, as if the word were a noun. This would strike Americans, from whom it's borrowed, as quaint and comical.

In American English, the phrase typically occurs this way: “I disagree with the distinguished senator from Georgia” or “The distinguished senator from Oregon made a great point,” etc. In other words, “distinguished senator” is only a phrase, not a title. “Distinguished Senator (First name) (Last name)” is as ridiculous as lawyers being addressed as “Learned Colleague (First name) (Last name).”


© Farooq Kperogi

7 Ways To Make 2020 Your Best Year

7 Ways To Make 2020 Your Best Year

7 Ways To Make 2020 Your Best Year

1. List the people who had the most positive influence on you in 2019. Make a plan to associate with them more. 

2. List the people who had the most negative influence on you in 2019. Make a plan to avoid them as much as possible.

3. Find out what you spent most on in 2019.

4. Find out how much of those things you can do by yourself and save (for instance, making your own lunch instead of eating out).

5. Invest the money you save from doing things by yourself. Don’t save it!

6. Identify a bad habit which affected you in 2019 and plan to leave it in 2019. 

7. Stick to the plans above.

© Reno Omokri 

December 26, 2019

Christmas Bonus: How To Get Free 500MB from 9mobile

Christmas Bonus: How To Get Free 500MB from 9mobile

Christmas Bonus: How To Get Free 500MB from 9mobile
9mobile is currently dishing out 500MB to its customers to connect with their loved ones this festive season. You don’t have to do anything special to qualify for this offer. Just dial *228#, and you will see your bonus data. You might be given 500MB or less.

The data is valid for 3 days. If you have a SIM card you haven't been using for a while, you can also put it on your mobile phone to receive the free 500MB data from 9mobile.
The Difference between Ingredient(s) and Recipe

The Difference between Ingredient(s) and Recipe

The Difference between Ingredient(s) and Recipe

“Ingredient(s)” refers to any of the substances (or foods) that are combined to make a particular dish. For example, the ingredients needed to prepare vegetable stew include; oil, pepper, carrots, green pepper, onions, tomatoes, etc. 

A “recipe” is “a set of instructions telling you how to prepare and cook a particular food...” For example, a recipe for preparing vegetable stew is, Heat oil over medium heat; add sliced onions, pepper, tomatoes, and let it simmer for some time before you add your sliced carrots and green pepper. 

In a nutshell, a recipe tells you how to use the ingredients required for cooking a particular food. 

© Eric Nuamah Korankye

December 21, 2019

CONTRONYM: Did you know a word can be its own opposite? Find out!

CONTRONYM: Did you know a word can be its own opposite? Find out!

Can a word be its own opposite? Yes! It is called a contronym –  a words that are their own antonyms, depending on usage. Here are a few examples.

1. Dust
It can mean ‘to add fine particles’ or ‘to remove fine particles.’ 

2. Left
It can mean both ‘remaining’ and ‘departed.’

3. Off
“Off" can mean both ‘activated’ and ‘deactivated.’
Examples
“Set off” – Activated
“Switch off” – Deactivated
CONTRONYM: Did you know a word can be its own opposite? Find out!
See how to use some of these contronyms in sentences here. 

4. Oversight
“Oversight” means both ‘watchful care’ and ‘an inadvertent error.’ 

5.  Screen
 It means ‘to show’ and ‘to hide.’

6. Sanction
“Sanction” can mean both ‘a penalty for disobeying a law’ and ‘official permission or approval for an action.’

December 19, 2019

Impeachment Does NOT Mean Removal from Office

Impeachment Does NOT Mean Removal from Office

Impeachment doesn't mean removal from office, but it's often a prelude to removing a public official from office. To impeach is to “charge (a public official) with an offense or misdemeanor committed while in office.”
Impeachment Does NOT Mean Removal from Office

In other words, it means to formally accuse a public official of a crime. In the United States, it is only the House of Representatives that has the power to impeach the president. 

 The next procedure after impeachment is trial and then removal or acquittal. In the United States, only the Senate has the power to try and remove or acquit a president who has been impeached (by the House of Representatives).  

Only two presidents have been impeached in America’s history, and both were acquitted by the Senate. They are President Andrew Johnson (America’s 17th president who was acquitted by just one vote) and President Bill Clinton (America’s 42nd president). Donald Trump will be the third president to be impeached, but he won't be removed because his party constitutes the majority in the US Senate. (I wish he would be removed).

Nigerian newspapers interchange “impeach” with “remove from office” because they are copying the drafters of the Nigerian constitution who don’t seem to know what “impeachment” really means.

In the only two passages in the Nigerian constitution that the word “impeachment” appears, it is used as if it meant “removal.” Section 146 (3) (a) of the document says, “where the office of vice president becomes vacant – by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with section 143 or 144 of this Constitution….”

Again, in Section 191 (3) (a) of the constitution the following sentence appears: “where the office of deputy governor becomes vacant – by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with section 188 or 189 of this Constitution….”

Well, an office can’t possibly become "vacant" by reason of “impeachment.” Just like people don’t go to prison simply because they have been accused of an offense, a vice president’s office can’t become vacant simply because he or she has been impeached. That would be a perversion of justice. 

Impeachment simply means accusation, and accusation alone is never a basis for conviction. To convict an accused person, you have to try him or her first. Plus, conviction is not the only possible outcome of a trial. An accused (or impeached) person can be acquitted after trial, as was the case for the two US presidents that were impeached.

Curiously, the Nigerian constitution never uses the word “impeachment” in relation to the president and state governors; it instead talks of the procedures for the “removal” of the president and of governors from office.

The people who wrote the 1999 Nigerian constitution are clearly not sufficiently educated about the meanings of the terminologies they deployed in the constitution. And they passed on their ignorance to the Nigerian news media and to the Nigerian populace.

© Farooq Kperogi

December 15, 2019

How to Get 1GB for N100 on Glo Network

How to Get 1GB for N100 on Glo Network

How to Get 1GB for N100 on Glo Network
Glo has finally joined other telcos in providing Nigerians with an affordable night data plan, and somehow the service looks cheaper and better, except that its network speed in some areas is not good enough. Glo introduced 1GB for N100 to all subscribers, and it can be used from 12AM to 5AM. The good news is that the data is valid for 5 days. This is something other telcos won’t give you.


Nevertheless, Glo subscribers say that it will make a little more sense if the schedule can be extended from 12AM to 8AM. If in your place the Glo network is excellent, then you can give it a shot.
How to Get 1GB for N100 on Glo Network
To subscribe to this plan, dial *777# and follow the prompt. You can activate this plan even if you have an active subscription, but note that the data is only active between 12AM and 5AM.

December 13, 2019

Airtel's My Offer: Get 6GB for N1500, 9GB for N2000 and 16GB for N3000

Airtel's My Offer: Get 6GB for N1500, 9GB for N2000 and 16GB for N3000

Airtel's My Offer: Get 6GB for N1500, 9GB for N2000 and 16GB for N3000
The festive season is already here and I'm sure you'll be using more data than usual. The truth is, the normal data won't be enough for you this season; that's why you need to step up. 


On Airtel you can actually get 16GB for N3000 and 9GB for N2000 as well; it all depends on what you're going to do. If you have a strong Airtel network in your location, you can either give it a shot or simply opt for the Glo Yakata Data offer.

This data offer from Airtel will work on all eligible smart devices, and it doesn't zap too much. Just make sure that you turn off applications that in the background consume more of your data.

ALSO READ: How to Borrow Data from MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile

To enjoy this offer, dial *141# and choose my offer. And what you see in the picture below will appear on your screen.
Airtel's My Offer: Get 6GB for N1500, 9GB for N2000 and 16GB for N3000
If your offer is different from mine, kindly send GET to 141. You should get a message like the one below, and your offer will look like the one above afterwards.
Airtel's My Offer: Get 6GB for N1500, 9GB for N2000 and 16GB for N3000
BUHARI'S VISA-FREE POLICY: All You Need to Know

BUHARI'S VISA-FREE POLICY: All You Need to Know

Major-Genral Buhari went to Egypt and told them that as from January 2020 there would no longer be a visa requirement for Africans to come to Nigeria. 
BUHARI'S VISA-FREE POLICY: All You Need to Know
The Fulanis of north and west Africa, rejected and unwanted elsewhere, have finally been given what they wanted all along: a homeland of their own. They will flood Nigeria in their millions and within 5 years our demographics will change forever.

Simply put, a visa-free policy for Africans to come into Nigeria is a shameless and subtle attempt to alter the racial and religious demographics of our country and open our front door for mass Fulani, Berber, Taureg and Arab migration into our shores. 

By the time they come here from all over north and west Africa and settle down, we the indigenous people of Nigeria will be a tiny minority. The next thing they will do is to implement RUGA to the letter and take our land and insist on sharia law being implemented all over the country.


It is a dangerous, self-serving and self-seeking policy which will ultimately result in great conflict, carnage, racial and religious strife and total catastrophy. In an attempt to implement an ancient agenda of Fulani hegemony and turn us into a conquered and enslaved people Buhari, his born to rule co-travellers and their vast legion of slavish sympathisers and supporters are likely to set Nigeria on fire. 

You will not believe me now just as you did not believe me when I warned about the true nature of Buhari in 2015 and the grave consequences of electing him as President. 

Yet my words have proved to be prophetic and just as I have been vindicated on Buhari I shall be vindicated on this matter of the grave and dangerous consequences of visa-free mass migration by vagrant, stateless and nomadic Africans into our shores.

With this irresponsible, unpatriotic, dangerous and self-serving policy, I repeat, we are playing with fire and sitting on a keg of gunpowder which will eventually explode. It will be the final nail in the coffin of a united Nigeria. May God deliver us from the coming evil.

© Femi Fani-Kayode

December 08, 2019

How To Use IN, AT and ON in Reference to Time, Days, Cities Towns

How To Use IN, AT and ON in Reference to Time, Days, Cities Towns

Often we find problems with the use of the prepositions “in”, “at” and “on” in reference to time, days, cities, towns, etc. The following is a guide.

1. Use "in" for countries e.g. In Ghana, In Spain, etc.

2. Use "in" for capital cities/regional capitals, e.g. In Accra, In Kumasi, In Madrid, In London, etc.

3. Use "at" for towns/suburbs, e.g. At Spintex, At Kasoa, etc.

4. Use "at" to express time e.g. at 5.30pm, etc.

5. Use "in" for continents, e.g. in Africa, in Europe, etc. 
How To Use IN, AT and ON in Reference to Time, Days, Cities Towns

6. Use "in" to introduce months, e.g. in March, in April.

7. Use "in" to introduce years, e.g. in 2016, in 1998.

8. Use "on" to introduce days, e.g. on Tuesday, on Friday.

9. Use "in" to describe a time period in the day, e.g. "in" the morning, "in" the afternoon, "in" the evening, "in" the night. (NOTE: However, we can use "at" for dawn and night. For example, “at dawn”, “at night”.

© Eric Nuamah Korankye
The Difference between a Translator and an Interpreter

The Difference between a Translator and an Interpreter

These two professionals are closely related in terms of what they do; it is therefore not surprising that they are often used interchangeably. But, are they the same? 


An "interpreter" is a person whose job is to change what someone is saying into the words of another language.

A "translator" is a person whose job is changing words, especially written words, into a different language.


The difference between an "interpreter" and a "translator" lies in the use of medium: interpreters translate spoken language orally, while translators translate the written word.

Example 
1. Mr Peter M. Abraham serves as an interpreter in the church, a very good one at that. 

2. Mildred works as a translator and editor for the news agency. 

© Eric Nuamah Korankye