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English for Journalists, 4th Edition by Wynford Hicks

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8

Style

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Style differs from grammar in that it cannot be quantified: it has no precise rules. Style is concerned not so much with the mechanics of language as with the way the writer uses it to play on the sensations of the reader. Style adds impact to writing, strengthens the contact with the reader and heightens their awareness. This is true even though the reader may be unaware of what is happening and unable to analyse the techniques used.

To be effective, a journalist must develop a style that has four principal attributes: suitability, simplicity, precision and poise.

Some journalists — broadsheet sports writers, for example — strain too hard for effect and/or try to pack too much into their sentences. Here is an example ...

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