Posted by Yaniv Morozovsky

Watch your Language

10 January 2020

The newspaper, like any organized media, makes every effort to maintain proper and clear wording • A bit of advice to guarantee that your text will be shared by readers

As I have said in previous articles, the subject of language is very important in my paper and in every other newspaper. The same goes for radio and television. A proofreading team reads the texts, makes changes, and checks every period, comma, and exclamation point.

Unfortunately, for lack of time, proofreaders do not have the ability to read my article. It is also true that in preparing an article for a school newspaper, one that does not have a full-time proofreader, you, as reporters and editors, have the responsibility to ensure that you send in error-free text. So how do you do that? Here are my suggestions for the most important things to do to keep you from making gross mistakes.

 

Be accurate when it comes to names and titles

It is not necessarily related to language, but it is important to mention the golden rule here, in addition to accuracy of facts. It is extremely important not to make a mistake, to double check every name and title mentioned in the text. It is very easy to "google" them and make sure we don't embarrass ourselves, our newspaper, and the interviewee who will read the article and find out that there are errors in his/her most basic details.

 

Use clear language

It is not necessary to write excessively high level language, but it is important to adhere to the proper principles of the language. If you are not sure how to spell a word, use a dictionary, thesaurus or website. Google, too, with the question "How do I spell the word ..." will often help you with references to specific sites for help.

 

Be accurate when it comes to number and dates

This is one of the common mistakes in everyday speech, too, and is easy to avoid in the paper. As for the dates, the correct structure is today is the full name of month – don't abbreviate. For example: July 21, 2017.

 

Use commas and periods.

Even more important than that this is what should to be done, some readers, myself included, may run out of steam when reading non-stop text.

 

Divide the paragraphs

The "Enter" button on the keyboard was put there for a reason. Use it at the end of each paragraph.

A newspaper paragraph is usually between one and three sentences long. Dividing paragraphs, like the paragraph in the previous section, also lightens the text, makes it easier to read and looks better on paper.

At the same time, I will also mention those who press "enter" at the end of each sentence. It is important to avoid this habit. The function of this key is to separate paragraphs only.

 

Be active

Try to active as opposed to passive wording when conveying information. Instead of "three people were arrested", write "The police arrested three people."

 

Write short sentences

Try to split a long sentence into two short sentences. For example: Instead of "Justin Bieber performed the song "Sorry" and the audience sang the refrain with enthusiasm as fireworks lit the sky" write "Justin Bieber performed the song "Sorry". The audience sang along enthusiastically, while fireworks lit the sky ".

 

Proofread

After drafting the article, go over this article and review yourself. If a word you wrote is underlined in red it is the first warning light, but don't just rely on it – check it

 

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