The Headline in English News

The study of style tells us what kind of language is suitable under certain circumstances. So here the style of journalistic English mainly focuses on the suitable language for news reporting. We can see different genres on English media, including news, commentaries and soon. Here this essay will discuss the basic style for news reporting.

Headline is the first thing we start with when we read the newspaper; therefore, it also has some features of English news. First let’s discuss about the grammatical features of headlines. Therefore there also appears some translation inappropriateness.

There is an omission of article, conjunction, pronoun, link verb and auxiliary verb. It is used to summarize and highlight the content. For example, China sees housing as an engine to drive the economy. Should be like this: China sees housing as engine to drive economy. A mother and her daughter share a Fulbright year. Should be like this: Mother, daughter share a Fulbright year.

There are three reasons for the use of present tense:

It saves space. In most cases past tense is longer in space than the present tense, with an “ed” in extra. So present tense can save some space for a headline.

Present tense is active.

A present-tense emphasizes the timeliness of the news. For example: Longevity Star Died at 110. Should be like this: Longevity Star Dies at 110.

Use “be to do” instead of “will do” to present the future tense, and “be” is often omitted in order to save space. Second, use “be doing” to present things that are happening, and “be” is often omitted in order to save space.

Active voice is more often used. For example: Iraq is to suspend the anti-Kurdish campaign. Should be like this: Iraq to suspend the anti-Kurdish campaign. China’s tax collectors are inching for inheritance tax. Should be like this: China’s tax collectors inching for inheritance tax

Punctuations are used sometimes in headlines. Punctuations only appear in the head for two reasons. First, they are used to save space. For example: The Stolen Koalas are Found and Returned to the Zoo. Should be like this: Stolen Koalas Found, Returned to Zoo. The Chinese acrobats are masters of stunts. Should be like this: Chinese acrobats: masters of stunts.

Leave a Reply