August 19, 2016

Newspaper Headline Styles

Whenever we read a newspaper, we first look for the interesting news or breaking news. The headlines of news items introduce the news to us or arouse our curiosity to read the very news. Also, they attract the readers’ attention to the particular news. The writing of newspaper headline styles is rather unusual and different from the ordinary English. Newspapermen always create effective or conspicuous headlines in the dailies. So, we, the readers are aware of such style of writing for news headlines in the news columns. Certain words are used in newspaper headlines. They are usually short, entertaining or sound dramatic. Some of these words are not common in ordinary language or are used in different sense. This is really an amazing art of writing indeed.
Headlines also omit certain words and use colloquial expressions, abbreviations and different verb tenses. The present simple can be used for present or past story. The use of the present simple instead of the past tense makes the story sound more immediate. An infinitive often refers to the future. e g. ‘Man To probe Water on Mars.’  Articles (a, an, the) and the auxiliary verbs are often not included. Obviously, this art of writing in newspaper headline style is created by pressmen known as newspapermen. In this field of print media, the newspapermen have right or license (such as a poetic license in literature) to use constructs, the phrases or clauses for news headlines. Sometimes, the headlines are composed into sentences. Despite the style of headlines are often ungrammatical, the correct spelling is used.
English grammarians, linguists, academicians and international readers can understand and accept these headline styles being used in English newspapers. All sensible persons regard and pay respect to the pressmen for their dedication to their work. By any means, we must praise them for their creativity of headline styles in the newspapers. The pressmen are worthy of commendation because they artistically and cleverly create the very unusual words in writing headlines. Thus, the readers can get rid of boredom while reading the specific news.
The following are from various English newspapers.
Contractions and abbreviations are used in headlines.
Examples:  ‘Pols’ for Politicians, ‘Dems’ for Democrats, ‘Govt’ for Government, ‘Lib Dems’ for the Liberal Democrats etc.
Extremely short words are used in headlines in order to save space.
Examples: ‘axe’ ( eliminate), ‘bid’(attempt), ‘Foil’ (to prevent),  ‘ink’ (sign a contract), ‘rap’ ( criticize- as a verb),’ rout’ (defeat overwhelmingly), ‘laud’ (praise), ‘confab’ (meeting), ‘mull’ (consider), ‘see’ (forecast), ‘nix’ (reject), ‘pose’ (raise question) ‘parley’ (negotiations between enemies- as a noun) ‘pen’ (writer), ‘Halt’ (stop, to stop), ‘hype’ (create publicity stunts), ‘vie’ (compete), ‘blast’ (explosion), ‘blaze’ (fire), ‘clash’ (conflict, disagreement, fight), ‘curb’ (check or restraint), ‘drama’ (exciting or dramatic event), ‘envoy’ (diplomat) ‘hike’ (increase) ‘hit’ (affect badly), ‘Haul’ (goods stolen in robbery or taken by police or customs), ‘Oust’ (to force out of office, remove from high position), ‘poll’ (vote, election, public opinion survey), ‘probe’ (investigate, investigation), ‘Quit’ ( leave, depart, resign), ‘Quiz’ (question), ‘Riddle’ (mystery), ‘Rig’ (to falsify), ‘Seek’ (look for, want, ask for) ‘Slash’ (reduce drastically), ‘Storm’ (angry argument), ‘split’ (divide, division) ‘Swoop’ (raid, to raid), ‘Temblor ’ (USA) (earthquake) ‘Toll’ (total number of dead), ‘tout’ (praise, endorse), ‘Wed’(marry), ‘Woo’ (attract, interest, win the support of) ‘Gag’ (to silence, censor, censorship), ‘Slam’ (heavily criticize), ‘eye’ (consider), ‘lull’ (appease, calm), ‘Lout’ (stupid person), ‘stun’ (shock ), ‘mar’ (damage) ‘duo’ (couple ), ‘Gal’ ( Internet slang used to ridicule people who spend large amounts of time using computers  or the  internet /  slang expression for girl or woman), ‘thug’ (gangster), ‘rip’ (tear), ‘crackdown’ (sudden punitive or disciplinary action) ‘besiege’ (surround), ‘baffle’ (bewilder, mystify), ‘leak’ (escape of secret information). ‘move’ (action, step, to take action), ‘cut’ ( reduce)
Violent words are often used in newspaper headlines in order to make stories seem more dramatic.
Examples: ‘EU acts to crush terror of the thugs’
‘Palace besieged by journalists’
‘Typhoon rips through town’
‘Crackdown on soccer louts’ etc.
The following newspaper headline styles are often seen in the newspaper in the world. They are comprehensible to native speakers and English speaking people around the world. They can be described as a blend of literary words and ordinary words. Professionally, newspapermen write about a variety of daily events, incidents which are occurring on the stage of human-life. The true stories are presented in the dailies in the form of news writing.
GOVERNMENT IN NEW ROW OVER LAND (row means an argument ); The government is in an argument over land.
OBAMA  BACKS NEW LAW (back means support); President  Obama  has supported a new law.
JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER TO QUIT  (leave a job); Japan’s Prime Minister is going to quit.
BAD WEATHER HITS FARMERS (hit means have a bad effect on); The bad weather has affected the formers to grow crops.
UN IN BID TO END WAR (bid means try or attempt); UN is trying to end war.
STAR TO WED (used infinitive for future tense);  A film star is going to get married
POLLS  RIGGED  CHARGES; Allegations have been made that election results were falsified.
TWO SOUGHT AFTER  BREAK-OUT  DRAMA; Police are hunting two men who made a daring escape from prison by helicopter.
CABINET  RESHUFFLE  URGED;  Strong appeals have been made to the Prime Minister to make changes in his ministers.
GEMS HAUL SEIZED  IN SWOOP; Police raided a house today and took possession of jewelry stolen in a recent robbery.
BRITAIN’S PRINCE CHARLES, WIFE VISIT PASTY MUSEUM IN MEXICO  (conjunction is omitted); THE Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife visited Pasty museum in Mexico.
BRITISH BANKER CHARGED WITH MURDER OF 2 WOMEN IN HONG KONG  (instead of using passive voice, the active voice  is used in the headline); A British banker has been charged with murder of 2 women in Hong Kong.
AIR FARES SLASHED TO WOO HOLIDAY MAKERS (instead of using passive voice, the active voice  is used in the headline); Airfares have been drastically reduced to attract more holidaymakers to fly.
ARMY AXES 3 BASES, 3,000 MEN; The army has closed down three bases and dismissed 3,000 men to save money.
3 SAVED IN FLATS BLAZE DRAMA (instead of using passive voice, the active voice  is used in the  headline); Three people have been saved in a dramatic fire at a block of flats
‘CRACKDOWN  ON  PORN’; A strong campaign against pornography has been launched.
PM TO REVEAL SOCCER  LOUT PLANS; The Prime Minister is going to announce plans for dealing with football hooligans.etc.
Since they are not writing fictitious stories, the news must be confirmed, factual, timely and reliable. Headlines are the opening or introducing parts of the news items. So, the pressmen use appropriate choice of words and styles in writing news headlines. Afterwards, the headlines are compact and vivid so that the readers can understand partially about the news before they read the detailed news. This artistic  daily- task shows the cleverness, quality and skill of the pressman in writing the styles of headlines. The readers are absolutely fascinated by the pressman’s methods of writing newspaper headline style. Besides, the pressmen are normally respected and praised by readers for their relentless efforts to convey the confirmed news and important or useful information to the readers in time. In conclusion, the newspaper headlines depict  the bird’s eye view of the events or occurrences attractively. !!!


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