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Journalists Meet: double meanings

Journalists Meet: double meanings

Technical and foreign words are not alone in presenting difficulties, simple English, too, present pitfalls.

Some words have two or more meanings.

It is a fact that as a right your duty is to communicate to the reader.

Always try to restrict a word to a simple sense in any one report.

Simple and direct use of words help the readers understand what you write at first reading.

Also, it is incumbent of you as a journalist and writer to punctuate works.

Remember that you and the reader share a common understanding in the use of punctuation.

It is so because it helps tell the clear meaning of what the writer is communicating to the reader.

Allow me to delve a little into reasons most essential – use of punctuation.

When you write and just have your sentences with a coma, it simply tells you that your sentences are incomplete. Of course, don’t you also forget abiding to principles of accuracy, clarity, simple and direct use of words?

Consider, in the report, on council housing, the word ‘home.’

A ‘home’ can be a house where a family lives. It can also be a hostel or institution for children or old people.

Never use it in both senses in the same report. Once you’ve used a word in a particular sense, the reader expects you to go on doing so.

The reader also expects you to use the same words whenever you want to convey the same meaning, introducing a different word will suggest that you intend a different meaning.

Conscious good English requires variety; journalists are often chary repeating the same word. Good bye, see in my next class.

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