The 1stregular English newspaper was the “Weekly News”. It appeared in 1622 and was the issued for nearly 20 years. The first daily newspaper in England ‘The Daily Courant” [ku’r nt] appeared in 1702. The newspaper contained news, largely foreign, and no comment. Such was the principle of the editor, which he stated in the first issue of the newspaper. Commentary appeared later. Besides home and foreign news, “The Daily Courant” contained advertisements, and announcements.
It took the English newspaper more than a century to establish its own style and standard. Only the 19thcentury newspaper style can be regarded as a functional style.
English newspaper style may be defined as a system of interrelated (lexical, grammatical, phraseological, etc.) language means which is perceived by the bearer of the language as a separate unity the main purpose of which is to inform and instruct the reader.
2.What Printed Matter Comes under the Title of Newspaper Style?
Not all the printed matter found in newspapers comes under the title ‘newspaper style’. Modern newspapers publish materials of diverse character. On their pages one can find news, comments, poems, stories, articles in special fields, chess problems, puzzles, etc.
Since the primary function of the newspaper style is to impart (сообщать, передавать) news, only printed matter serving that purpose can be regarded ‘newspaper style proper’, namely:
Brief news (короткие заметки информационного характера) and communiques [,k ‘mju:nikeiz] (официальные сообщения правительства);
Press reports (of parliamentary or court proceedings and the like);
Articles of purely informational character;
Advertisements and announcements.
To understand the language peculiarities of English newspaper style we shall analyze the following basic newspaper features:
Brief news items;
Advertisements and announcements;
The headline is the most concise (сжатый) form of English newspaper. The headline is the title given to a news item or a newspaper article. The main function of the title is the same as that of the newspaper style in general – to inform the reader – of what the news that follows is about. Sometimes headlines contain elements of appraisal (оценка), i.e. they show the reporter’s attitude to the facts reported. English headlines are short and catch the eye. A skillfully turned out (worked out)headline tells enough of the story to arouse or satisfy the reader’s curiosity.
e.g. Black blood in the pipeline.
In most English and American newspapers sensational headlines are quite common.
Different newspapers have a different number of headlines before items or articles, and groups of headlines present almost a summary of the information of the article that follows.
The vocabulary of the headline is the same as in brief news items. But unlike brief news items, headlines may contain emotionally coloured words and phrases. Moreover, basic peculiarities of the headlines lie in their structure. Syntactically, headlines are usually made of short sentences and phrases of a variety of patters:
Full declarative sentences;
Sentences with articles omitted (omit – опускать);
Questions in the form of statements;
Headlines including direct speech introduced by a full sentence or elliptically (with/without quotation marks);
Phrases with verbals.
Besides, these grammatical peculiarities, headlines may contain a number of different Ems and SDs, idioms, and other phraseologicals units, names of books, plays - all of them made to suit a particular need.
Brief News Items (BNI)
The function of BNI is to inform the reader. A BNI only states facts without giving commentary - that is why it is basically matter-of-fact (деловой) and almost devoid of emotional colouring. What really distinguishes BNI from other forms of newspaper writing is their syntactical structure but not their vocabulary. As a reporter is obliged to be brief, he naturally tries to squeeze as many facts as possible in the space allotted (предназначенное). That is why the shorter the news item the more complex its syntactical structure is. BNIs usually contain complex sentences with a developed system of clauses, verbal constructions, attributive noun groups, where word order is very important.
In the course of time, journalistic practice has developed the
Who? – What? – Why? - How? – Where? – When?
In terms of grammar this fixed structure may be expressed in the following way:
subject > object > adverbial modifier of purpose > manner > place > time
(Statistics shows that this rule is violated in as many cases as it is observed.)
A BNI may consist of one sentence only. If there is more than one sentence, the initial one is called the lead. The lead usually contains the most essential information of the BNI. The rest of it supplies additional information of minor significance.
The bulk of the vocabulary of BNI is neutral and common literary. It is characterized by the intensive use of the following:
political and economic terms and
e.g. government, premier (P.M.), executive committee, strategic arms limitations, elections, production
non-term political vocabulary:
e.g. progress, opponent, peace, people, crisis, leader, campaign, unemployment, congress, alliance, etc.
newspaper cliches[‘kli ei];
e.g. cold war, urgent problem, vital issue, well-informed sources, to escalate war, to launch an attack, an offensive, an appeal, etc.
e.g. EEC- European Economic Community
FO – Foreign Office
IMF – International Monetary Fund, etc.
Besides ‘permanent’ abbreviations that have become part of the vocabulary, there can be chance abbreviations, especially in the headlines, which are deciphered in the body of the BNI itself.
e.g. stop-go-politics (нерешительная политика), chunnel = channel+tunnel, etc.
The vocabulary of BNI is generally devoid of emotional colouring though some popular newspapers tend to introduce emotionally coloured elements into matter-of-fact articles.
Advertisements and Announcements
Advertisements and announcements made their way into the English press at an early stage of its development, in the middle of the 17thcentury. They are as old as the newspapers themselves.
The function of advertisements and announcements is like that of BNIs - to inform the reader. There are 2 basic types of advertisements and announcements in the modern English newspaper: classified and non-classified (separate).
(Advertisements are printed notices about things to be sold or wanted or about situations vacant.
Announcements – printed notices about what is happening or going to happen.)
In classified advertisements and announcements various kind of information is arranged according to the subject-matter into sections, each bearing an appropriate name, such as: business offers, deaths, marriages, meetings, exhibitions, holidays, schools, situations vacant, notices, events, etc. This classified arrangement has resulted in a number of stereotyped patterns regularly employed in newspaper advertisements and announcements. Their vocabulary is essentially neutral, but those in the personal section are sometimes emotionally coloured.
As for non-classified (separate) advertisements and announcements, the variety of subject-matter and language forms here is so great that hardly any essential feature common to all of them can be pointed out. The reader’s attention can be attracted by any possible stylistic means: graphical, lexical, syntactical. They are supplied with photos, drawings as the advertiser (announcer) can buy as much space in the newspaper as his purse allows.
The Editorial (передовая/редакционная статья) bears the stamp of both the newspaper and publicist style. The function of the Editorial is not only to inform the reader, but also to influence him by interpreting certain facts. The Editorial comments on the political and other events of the day. The purpose is to suggest that the editor’s opinion and interpretation (it is the editor or sub-editor who writes the editorial) is the right one.
The Editorial appeals not only to the reader’s mind but to his feelings as well. Hence, the use of emotionally coloured elements, both lexical and structural. Alongside with political terms, cliches, abbreviations, one can find colloquial words and expressions, professionalisms, and slang words, which strengthen the emotional colouring of the editorial.
The editorial also abounds (изобилует) in trite SDs, especially in metaphors, irony, stylistic use of word-building means, etc. Practically any stylistic device can be found in editorial writing. When skillfully used, SDs become a powerful weapon producing the necessary emotional effect on the reader. Yet, the role of EMs and SDs should not be overestimated – they stand out at the essentially neutral background.
The editorial in different newspapers varies in the degree of emotional colouring and stylistic originality of expression. While these qualities are typical enough of the popular newspapers, newspapers with large circulation intended for serious readers, the so-called quality newspapers, such as “The Times’, “The Guardian”, make a sparing use of EMs and SDs.