I am certain some of you have come across statements such as “Ana was in coalition with Ada” to describe the scene where Ana had it rough with Ada. It could be that Ana engaged in hot verbal exchanges with the latter, but figuratively expressed to paint a mental picture of what took place. It could also mean that Ana physically assaulted or attacked Ada by beating or punching her with intent to injure her. I have read the statement in some publications and heard people, even the educated and learned, call it slip of the tongue, make such blunders, it is unpardonable, to say the least. “Ana was in coalition with Ada” statement is among some of the ugly and un-English phrases that puts off the masters and purists of the language and calls for urgent intervention and remedy to save the language from undue adulteration.
The English pragmatics are never tired to point out such mistakes or correct these anomalies that tend to corrupt the original and authentic English. This brings me back to the disagreement I once had with a professor in one of the ivory towers who gave the impression that no one has the right or license to tell, not even the originators of the language, the British, how to write or speak or even construct phrases in a manner to maintain the standard English. He noted that there is nothing like standard English, and that it is a no, no, to say this is how the language ought to be handled to seamlessly put one’s thought through to his or her target audience. For him, anything goes so long as one can express himself or herself in the most basic elementary English, devoid of finesse and lacking in sophistication. Rather than speak or write, “Ana was in coalition with Ada,” simply speak, for example, and correctly too, “Ana and Ada collided.” The rule is that keep it plain and short.
That way, your readers or listeners will understand you better without any iota of ambiguity which hinders effective communication. Keep it short and simple; straight to the point without boring the listener with colourful or overbearing words or phrases. Again, take note of this redundant and spent expression “pointing accusing fingers” at who? It is a stale and hackneyed statement, though it still litters some of our newspaper pages and condoned on the airwaves of those mediums I regard as unserious and ignorant of the change that would always be. Do well to shun the old expression, “pointing accusing fingers” and embrace the short and simple phrase, “pointing fingers” at whoever you think should be held accountable for the wave of the non-stop protest staged by the Nigerian youths, calling for the disbandment of SARS.
Some, especially, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is pointing fingers at some elements as being behind the ENDSARS agitation by the youths taking place simultaneously across cities in the country. So, when next you are tempted to use the established statement “pointing fingers at” you are on the right path, but never add “accusing” because it is tautology. “Pointing fingers at” statement is the same thing as accusing someone of doing wrong or that he or she should be blamed or take responsibility for whatever had happened