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WikiProject Journalism (Rated Start-class)
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I'm reworking this:

Journalese is, according to a typical dictionary definition, a derogatory term for a superficial, cliché-ridden and sensationalist style of writing regarded as typical of newspapers.

In a self-reflective, self-critical mood, the journalist Joe Grimm argued that journalese is "neither clichés nor jargon: Journalese is the peculiar language that newspapers have evolved for talking to readers. We write journalese out of habit, sometimes from misguided training, and to sound urgent, authoritative and, well, journalistic. But it doesn't do any of that."

The typical characteristics of journalese are:

the search for, and use of, synonyms -- not just to avoid repetition -- even if they are hardly ever used in ordinary speech unusual lexical choice including euphemisms, hyphenated words, and neologisms the use of ellipsis, particularly in headlines one-sentence paragraphs (which, by general consent, are to be avoided in essay-type texts) A special form of journalese is headlinese ("Mad Cow Talks in Washington", "Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge", "Mounting Problems for Young Couples", "Hospital Sued by Seven Foot Doctors" etc.).

Maurreen 09:49, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Okay, but why did you remove so much of the information? <KF> 15:10, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
Say what you want about this article, but it's probably one of the funnier article in the Wikipedia. Happy Thanksgiving, assholes! PeteJayhawk 00:42, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

2007-02-7 Automated pywikipediabot message[edit]

--CopyToWiktionaryBot 04:40, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

A new example[edit]

I see often a glaring example of what I think is journalese in Wikipedia: the use of "saw" to avoid use the past tense:

"The 1990s saw an increase in crime...." instead of the simpler "Crime increased in the 1990s...."

I propose to add this to the list. Any objections? Ground Zero | t 10:14, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Isn't "saw" past tense? (talk) 17:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
True enough. I guess what I mean is that some people follow journalists who use "saw" instead of using the past tense of the active verb in the sentence. In this case, using "saw" avoids having to form the past tense of "increase". Using the past tense of "increase" is simpler and clearer than using an unrelated verb "to see" and turning "increase" into a noun. Ground Zero | t 01:03, 30 August 2011 (UTC)


This and headlinese are basically the same subject. A merge makes sense here. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:12, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Oppose -- In English, newspaper headlines are highly linguistically restricted and structured as compared to ordinary journalistic prose, so they're really not the same... AnonMoos (talk) 18:56, 21 March 2011 (UTC)