Basis for ranging

SAMPLE 1: “The Community Relations Officer for Obanliku, Mr Daniel Okono said that efforts were being made to contain the influx of the asylum seekers who are crossing the borders into Nigerian towns on daily basis.”(Crisis as Cameroonian Refugees Swell Cross River Communities, The Nation, Sunday, 3 December, 2017)

The phrase that interests us is “on daily basis.”We have made the point emphatically in an earlier discussion that there should be an indefinite article (a) before the word daily as another modifier of the noun basis. As a singular countable noun, the word basis requires that article.

Now read the following sentences: 1) The meeting holds on a regular basis. 2) The allowances are paid on a monthly basis. 3) The training sessions are held on an annual basis. 4) Workers are employed on a part-time basis. 5) Contrary to your view, there is a basis for rejecting the application. 6) Meetings are held on a monthly basis. 7) Children and adults should wash their teeth on a daily basis. 8) The police patrol the area on a weekly basis. 9) Methods and approaches are changed on a yearly basis. 10) Budgets are prepared and presented on an annual basis. 11) Guards are changed on a regular basis.

Note that in each of those sentences, the word basis is in its singular form. It is important to note the spelling. Note, in addition, that the word is modified by a/an. This modifier is obligatory.

Now compare those sentences with the following: 1) I have two bases for objecting to that proposal. 2) The philosophical bases for the argument are quite sound. 3) On both theological and moral bases, the idea is repugnant. 4) The chairman insisted that people must provide rational bases for their suggestions. 5) I am trying to examine the bases for the various arguments presented.

It is as ungrammatical to use the singular form (basis) without the indefinite article a pre-modifying it as it is to allow that word (a) to pre-modify the plural form (bases). You shouldn’t say: “She visits us on regular basis.”  Rather say: “She visits us on a regular basis.”  Do not say: “There are a sound bases for their arguments.” Rather say: “There are sound bases for their arguments.”

Sample 2: “She added that the implication of teenage pregnancy is grave, ranging from complications and labour, anaemia, unsafe abortions, cycle of poverty, lower educational attainment, among others.”(Combating Teenage Pregnancy, The Nation, 25 November, 2018)

Please note the expression ranging from. We note in particular the particle from collocating with ranging. But there is another particle, missing here, which usually collocates with range in addition to the particle from. That particle is to.

Things are said to range from one point or item to the other or between one point or item and the other. Put in another way, things range from x to y or between x and y. In the structure under consideration, we have the particle from but there is no to.

Now read the following sentences: 1) Articles in the store range from the domestic to the foreign. 2) The crimes allegedly committed by the young men range from petty stealing to armed robbery. 3) The music supplied ranged from the traditional to the exotic. 4) The materials available in the library range from newspapers and magazines to encyclopaedia. 5) The animals available in the zoo range between rats and elephants. 6) The prices range between #200 and #5000. 7) The age of the people who attended the wedding ranges between twenty and fifty years. 8) The topics discussed ranged between the trivial and mundane and the complex and exoteric.

Sample 3: “My daughter had very good shape, well structured, and reminded me of her mother and I was feeling bad that one day somebody will enjoy her, so I decided to take my own share and that resulted to pregnancy.”(Father Impregnates Daughter, The Sunday Sun, 11 February, 2018)

I draw your attention to the phrase resulted to which occurs in the clause, “that resulted to pregnancy.”In addition, let’s note the particle to which collocates with the verb resulted in this context. It is not the appropriate particle; not only that, that particle is symptomatic of the perennial confusion witnessed in the Nigerian usage scene between the expressions result in/from and resort to.

Now what is the nature of the error? We are looking at the difference between result and resort, which many Nigerians, including the reporter whose work is under review, would be unable to note at the level of pronunciation. There is a major phonetic difference between these words, and the first step towards overcoming the tendency to confuse them is to learn to pronounce them accurately.

How do we use the verb result? Please read the following sentences: 1) The near total failure of the project resulted from poor planning. 2) The violence resulted from the government’s refusal to listen to members of the public. 3) The governor’s loss of the election resulted from his political insensitivity. 4) The outbreak of cholera resulted from the people’s unhygienic living habit. 5) The war obviously resulted from lack of political, religious and racial tolerance. 6) Lack of adequate preparation resulted in mass failure. 7) Distorted understanding of the situation resulted in a wrong assessment of the people. 8) It is doubtful if this rather prolonged drought would not result in famine. 9) Careless driving often results in avoidable accidents. 10) Years of oppression and suppression of the masses can result in a violent revolution.

I advise readers to please note the particles that go with the verb result: in and from. An event or action may result in or from another event or action. Some Nigerian users would replace either of these particles with the particle to or into. They would say, for example, “The violent clash resulted to the death of the union leader” or “The heavy rain resulted into massive flooding.” The appropriate particle in each of those sentences is in.

And resort? When people resort to something, they use it or apply it or turn to it because they understand that that is the only thing that will work in their situation. Please read the following sentences: 1) Under no circumstances should you resort to borrowing. 2) Students have often resorted to violence whenever there is a misunderstanding between them and the authorities. 3) Frustrated, and alienated from his wife, the man has resorted to heavy drinking. 4) Constantly under attacks by armed robbers, residents have resorted to self-policing. 5) Many years ago, some banks resorted to chasing their debtors all over the place. 6) Is it right for jobless and hungry young men to resort to stealing? 7) He resorted to marrying another wife because his first wife allegedly gave him no peace. 8) When all else failed, he resorted to drug trafficking. 9) Having become grossly unpopular and incompetent, the government resorted to gagging the press. 10) In the face of pain, poverty, and  frustration, the lady resorted to prostitution.

It should be clear that the appropriate expression is: resulted in.

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