Journalism skills

Perfect punctuation… or not.

By Annette Stevens. 

Despite what anyone tells you, having punctuation, spelling and grammar 100% accurate is essential in journalism. However in every day life – whether it is up the town, walking to work or in shops, there is sometimes a lax attitude towards the English language. Being someone who works with words and grammar through your job or hobby frequently, errors are much more obvious. Take this for example:

jump 4 journalism

Firstly, apart from having no question mark on the first sentence, rather than a statement, the second part is a random assortment of words that don’t make sense. This picture was taken in my local supermarket, where it seems to be a daily occurrence. I’m not highlighting this to be nasty, but it makes you aware of the mistakes that are made every day.

So what should the sign have said? These were just some of the options I thought:

  • Why not try our new Bread? It’s freshly baked in store.
  • Our bread is up for tasting – it has been baked in store.

Similarly, a recent news article claimed that over half of all teenagers write in “text speak” using they abbreviations such as ‘bcuz’ for because. Although writing isn’t the only part of journalism, it’s still important to know the written form like the back of your hand. Of course everyone makes mistakes, but it’s more important to learn how to spell, how to use grammar correctly, and not repeat the same mistakes again!

Way back in June last year, when I first started to write for this blog, I was emailed once about a couple of mistakes I had made. This made me aware of them and learn from them…!

Next week, I will be posting about the life of former Cosmo intern, Sarah Kwong, who now writes for the Huffington Post.

Annette

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