News Stories Set The Example

I know that many of us, in our stories, in our blogs, in our tweets, in our texts, use abbreviated spelling and leave out non-key words which we believe or assume will be understood by the reader of our stories, blogs, tweets, and text messages.  I am even guilty of using sentence fragments in my stories and letters or e-mails for emphasis.  Not the best choice.  Like that, for example.

But is it wrong to expect our news writers to be properly edited and their stories corrected prior to publication, whether in print or on-line?  These people are supposed to be professional writers, wordsmiths - if you will, and their published work sets the example of How To Write for every reader who peruses their work from age 4 to age Infinity. 

The following excerpt is from a story published this morning by one of the longest existing news services in the world.   It's not the only example - it's just the most recent example that I have encountered and the one that incited my starting this group. 

"NEW YORK (AP) ........The Dow Jones industrial average falling 74.29 points to 10,309.09 by mid-morning." 

I did not include the author's name to save this person and this person's editor embarrassment, but the name under which this incomplete sentence was published is included in an article on "Falling Rates of Consumer Confidence.'  This is not the article's actual name, but if you were to search using some of these terms, you could probably find it.

 I had hoped that someone else had already started an experience, but could find no similar group regarding news stories - public use of poor grammar in print or in broadcast.  I seem to run across it all the time - the invention of words that heretofore did not exist, the inclusion of such words in reference books such as The Oxford English Dictionary (pfaugh), and my personal favorite - the hyphenation of one-syllable words at the end of a line in a newspaper or other printed (as in on-line news services) news stories. 

I actually, and more than once, saw the word "The" hyphenated to "th- e" at the end of one line and the beginning of another line in a printed news article.

Is it any wonder people don't know how to read, spell, or write if this is the example from which they have learned?

In case I find cause to edit this story - Original written on February 23, 2010 at 9:58 AM PST


NebulaNoxx NebulaNoxx
51-55, F
1 Response Feb 23, 2010

This and the constant bait-clicking articles on the internet drive me crazy.