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The Last Contrarian
 
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Is News24 actually Engrish.com?

27 September 2012, 11:14

While I can disfigure the English language as good as any journalist or university graduate (especially those fuckers from the literature department), I at least have a reasonable and honest excuse: I write when I’m inebriated. Now, one needs (yes needs, not need… go read up on subject-verb agreement) not be under the influence of Satan’s Oros to find or create an occasion for upfuckery (portmanteau: creating one’s own words for enhanced effect) in the English language.

After all, that is what a degree in journalism is mostly (note the popper placement of adverbs) for! (No! Ending a sentence in a preposition is NOT grammatically wrong. Latin grammar rules do not belong in the grammar of English, no matter how much English owes its existence to Latin.)

But I am personally perturbed by the transmogrify of English as is becoming the norm for all official News24 content. I am not the only grammarian who has noticed and commented on the decrepit state in which the English language makes an appearance on the News24 stage.

I have sat here horrified at the mutant and ablative English that is churned out by News24 journalists, writers, and editors. Do none of you realise just how amateurish and uneducated bad English can make a company look? Can you, at the very least, decide which style of punctuation you want to use: American or British?

Can News24 journalists/writers also stop harvesting all your adjectives from your colleague’s related articles? God dammit, if I read another article that refers to Malema as a firebrand (learn how properly to use italics), I am going to stop reading official News24 content.

News24: But Mr. Contrarian, consistency is the hallmark of professionalism. Is it not?

Contrarian: Yes, but it also implies that you are no smarter or more experienced today than you were a year ago!

Here is a tip, why not phrase it as follows: The pervicacious (you won’t find this one in Word’s spellchecker/thesaurus), recalcitrant Malema… blah blah blah.

See it is not so hard to be a bit creative with the English language, and if done correctly you can still do what you do to all news and what is the core no-no in journalism: presenting news or events in a biased way.

Your choice of headlines for your news articles also requires the touch of a professional copywriter to give it that magnetic effect that forces people to click and read the articles. And no, a general writer cannot do the work of a copywriter!

News24 should be shamed by the fact that a bunch of mostly amateur writers (myself not included) in the MyNews section can produce writing that is leagues more interesting to read and accurate with regards to prevailing English grammar.

I bet tomorrow I will read this article of mine sober and spot a few mistakes of my own; however, I’m willing to bet that this intoxicated attempt at writing is still orders of magnitude more creative, grammatically accurate, and entertaining to read than anything News24 editors, writers, and journalists have pumped out in recent times!

It takes more than a stack of English grammar books to actually be (yes, a split infinitive! Again, Latin grammar rules don’t apply to English) a good writer or proofreader. You actually have to read the books and understand them, but that is what we professionals do.

Consider outsourcing your articles to me for proofreading and enhancements. I guarantee English fit for the Queen of England herself.

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