Chapter 12 headlining your story

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Chapter 12 headlining your story

  1. 1. Chapter 12 Headlining Your Story
  2. 2. Headlines play five fairly obvious roles: <ul><li>1) They summarize the news, so that by taking a glance at the headline, the reader will know what the story is about; </li></ul><ul><li>2) They attract the reader’s attention with large print and sometimes with language of shocking or sensational effect; </li></ul><ul><li>3) They index the news, i.e., rank the importance of stories by the size of the print and placement on the page; </li></ul><ul><li>4) They decorate the page; </li></ul><ul><li>5) They fill the space. </li></ul>
  3. 3. If you work for a newspaper as a reporter, <ul><li>You do not need to worry about the headline. You just hand in your story to the copy editor. </li></ul><ul><li>What headline to use depends on many factors, e.g., how much space is available after stories are laid out on a page, and it is the responsibility of the copy editor to headline your story. </li></ul>
  4. 4. If you are a student newspaper reporter, <ul><li>You have to be your own copy editor. </li></ul><ul><li>Some students like to write “A Fortunate Grandmother,” “Death in a Traffic Accident,” or “Angry Students.” These headings do not communicate much. Nor do they play well the five roles we have just looked at. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Some of the basic rules of the “headline” grammar <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule One: </li></ul><ul><li>Sentences are preferred to phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>A Fortunate Grandmother </li></ul><ul><li> Granny Hugs Daughter Lost for 30 Years </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Two: </li></ul><ul><li>Nominal groups are condensed.  Articles, definite as well as indefinite, are often left out. Sometimes even possessive pronouns, e.g., “his” in “his daughter,” are left out. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., Student Union Finds New Chair </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Hab off Campus Triggers Arguments </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Three: </li></ul><ul><li>Copular verbs are often left out. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>Peace Studies New in the West, Says UK Professor </li></ul><ul><li>Prep Program Trendy Prior to Graduate Exams </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Four: </li></ul><ul><li>The past tense verb form does not have “-ed.”  By making the verb into a simple present, the reporter is giving us a vivid, eyewitness account. Notice that in headline grammar, there is no present perfect. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>Horse Bites Girl on Face </li></ul><ul><li>Cab drivers Go on Strike as Festival Opens </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual Harassment Sparks Concerns on Campus </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Five: </li></ul><ul><li>With the present progressive, the verb “to be” is often omitted. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Lab Trying Out New Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Pleading for Mt. Elephant </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Six: </li></ul><ul><li>When you headline future events, “will” or “shall” is replaced by “to”. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>President to Talk on Peace Pact </li></ul><ul><li>French Major to Compete in Beijing </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Seven: </li></ul><ul><li>In passive voice, the verb “to be” is omitted because again, it does not carry much meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>Boy Found Dead in Basement </li></ul><ul><li>Cab-driver Trapped in Fake Accident </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Eight: </li></ul><ul><li>The connecting word “and” is replaced by a comma. </li></ul><ul><li>This rule helps save space and shorten the sentence. For the same reason, “so”, “therefore” and “however” almost never occur in headlines. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>Accident Hurts One, Holds up Traffic </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Nine: </li></ul><ul><li>When a quotation is used for a headline, the speech tag often leaves out the word “say” or the like to save space. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., </li></ul><ul><li>Protesters: Hands off, Yankees! </li></ul><ul><li>Men Brought about Women’s Movements: US Professor </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Headline Grammar Rule Ten: </li></ul><ul><li>Short words are always preferred to long words. </li></ul><ul><li>Short, one-syllable words take up less space, and besides, they are often crisp, stunning and eye-catching. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Glossary of short words found in newspaper headlines <ul><li>axe – cancel </li></ul><ul><li>battle – struggle </li></ul><ul><li>big – great </li></ul><ul><li>cab – taxi </li></ul><ul><li>co-hab – co-habitation </li></ul><ul><li>crash – collide </li></ul><ul><li>cut – reduce </li></ul><ul><li>dim - reduce </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>dream – ambition </li></ul><ul><li>drop – decrease </li></ul><ul><li>end – finish </li></ul><ul><li>fake – false </li></ul><ul><li>hail – celebrate </li></ul><ul><li>hope – expectation </li></ul><ul><li>hurt – injure </li></ul><ul><li>lab - laboratory </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>look – appearance </li></ul><ul><li>nuke – nuclear power </li></ul><ul><li>open – begin </li></ul><ul><li>pact – treaty, agreement </li></ul><ul><li>prep – preparatory </li></ul><ul><li>probe – investigate </li></ul><ul><li>rise – increase </li></ul><ul><li>ruin – destroy </li></ul><ul><li>run – compete, govern </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>snub – ignore </li></ul><ul><li>spark – generate </li></ul><ul><li>talk – negotiate </li></ul><ul><li>team – committee </li></ul><ul><li>tip – help, assistance </li></ul><ul><li>trap – catch </li></ul><ul><li>trigger – generate, activate </li></ul><ul><li>veggie - vegetable </li></ul><ul><li>wipe out - eliminate </li></ul>

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