Warning: file_get_contents() [function.file-get-contents]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /homepages/12/d83843876/htdocs/newlife/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/functions/supernova-query.php on line 657

Warning: file_get_contents(http://grant-adamson.me.uk/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/admin/inc/webfonts.json) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /homepages/12/d83843876/htdocs/newlife/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/functions/supernova-query.php on line 657

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /homepages/12/d83843876/htdocs/newlife/wp-content/themes/supernova-pro/lib/functions/supernova-query.php on line 678
Categories

Wordblog revived

incorporating New Life

A matter of style

A lifetime in journalism has drummed into me a belief that a consistent style in writing is important. One of those areas is how we name people. The traditional British newspaper approach has been to give people’s full names at first use, eg John Smith, and afterwards Mr Smith. The exceptions are sportspeople, entertainers and those who have been convicted by a court. They are just “Smith” after first use.

In a blog, I felt, first names seemed inappropriate in many cases and would certainly lead to inconsistencies but the use of Mr etc was too formal. So I have taken what seemed to me to be a more American approach of using surnames with no Mr, Mrs Ms or Miss. I am not entirely comfortable with this as it reminds me of school.

Andy Bechtel, a journalism teacher at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, has raised the matter of inconsistency in his Editor’s Desk blog.

He cites the Druge Report’s home page links to reviews of the new CBS news anchor Katie Couric’s performance:

SHALES: No News Not the Best News For Katie Couric’s Debut…

PEYSER: SHE LOOKED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL WHO HAD TO GO POTTY…

ALESSANDRA: A Subdued Beginning…

VARIETY: ‘The new news looks quite a lot like the old news’…

Bechtel finds the use of two surnames and only the given name of Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times “vaguely patronising”. I agree.

About

View all posts by

POST A COMMENT