Idioms in newspaper style

of motivation of their meaning. Gisburg stated that there are three types of phraseological units: a) Phreseological fusions are completely non- motivated word- groups. They are highly idiomatic and cannot be translated word for word into other languages,the meaning of the components has no connection e.g. on Shank’s mare - (on foot), at sixes and sevens - (in a mess) etc; b) Phreseological unities which are partially non motivated as their meaning can usually be perceived through the metaphoric meaning of the whole phraseological unit e.g. to play the first fiddle ( to be a leader in something), old salt (experienced sailor) etc; c)Phraseological collocations are motivated but they are made up of words possessing specific lexical valency which accounts for a certain degree of stability in such word groups. e.g. cash and carry - (self-service shop), in a big way (in great degree) etc.This habitual collocations tend to become kind of clichйs, where the meaning of member words is to some extent dominated by the meaning of the whole group. However, it is a difficult task to set a boundary between idioms and non- idioms. When confronted with fixed exspressions like clichйs or proverbs, they often seem to have idiomatic qualities and no clear line presents itself as to when one cannot be another. The criterion of non- compositionality does not always give clear delineation either. Let’s take the proverb «every rose has its thorn». On one hand its meaning is quite compositional – it actually refers to roses having thorns. But when it metaphorically applies to non - rose situations meaning something beautiful or good has its own downsides.

Anyway an idiom should be correctly distinguished from clichйs. A clichй is a saying, expression , or idea that has been overused to the point of loosing its intended force of novelty, especially when at some time it was considered distinctively forceful or novel, rendering it a stereotype. The term is likely used in a negative context. It is frequently used in modern culture to reference an action or idea that is expected or predictable based on a prior event. It can be argued that the ‘negative usage of the term clichй in order to belittle an idea or an expression’ itself is becoming a clichй.

Individual wards in an idiom cannot be replaced by synonyms and still retain the idiomatic reading of the phrase. This is what qualify them as fixed forms.

The fact that the wards of the idioms are fixed is what makes the idioms, firs of all. So the fixed state of idioms is quality which not only characterizes them, but also proves idioms to be internally structured lexical items.

A word-group which defies word by word translation is consequently described as idiomatic. Unlike idioms (phraseological units), proverbs, sayings and quotations do not always function as ward equivalents. They exist as ready- made expressions with a specialized meaning of their own, which cannot be inferred from the meaning of their components taken singly. Idioms are mostly based on metaphors which make the transferred meaning of the whole expression more or less transparent. An idiom has a non-compositional form, that is , its meaning cannot be compositionally computed from its parts. This suggests that the way many idioms had found their way into language is as dead metaphors. Secondly the bulk of idioms never function in speech as word equivalents which is a proof of their semantic and grammatical inseparability. It is also suggested that the idioms in general have very much in common with quotations from literary sources, some of which also exist as idiomatic ready- made units with a specialized meaning of their own. Such quotations which have acquired specialized meaning and idiomatic value as to be or not to be differ little from proverbs and sayings which may also be regarded as quotation from English folklore and are part of this particular branch of literary studies. However quotations differ from proverbs in their origin. They come from literature but by and by become part and parcel of the language, so that many people using them don’t even know that they are quoting . quotations from classical sources were once a recognized feature of public speech. Accordingly some quotations are so often used that they become clichйs.

Ginsburg also suggests that pharseological units should be subdivided into phrasemes and idioms according to whether or not one of the components of the whole word- group possesses specialized meaning. Idioms are distinguished from phrasemes by the idiomaticity of the whole word –group and the impossibility of attaching meaning to the members of the group taken isolated. Idioms are semantically and grammatically inseparable units. Idioms made up of words normally brought together are homonymous with corresponding veliable ward groups «to let the cat out of the bag»- to divulge a secret, and the clue of idiomatic meaning is to be found in a wider context outside the phrase itself.

We should note that Idioms have no social boundaries or limitations as they exist in all cultures and classes of the society as well as in all languages. Idioms are a part of each language and cannot be described apart from the given language.

Biblical references are also the source of many idioms. Sports terms, technical terms, legal terms, military slang and even nautical expressions have found their way to everyday use of English language.

Nowadays American English is in this position. It is hard to find an AmE idiom that has not established itself in « worldwide English» (usually BrE).

Idioms are constantly dying and new ones are born. Some idioms may have gone through radical changes in meaning. The phrase – There is no love lost between them – nowadays means that some people dislike one another. Originally, when there was the British English form, it meant exactly the opposite. The shift in meaning is yet unexplained. All dialects of English have different sets of idioms and situations where a given idiom can be used .

English is a language particularly rich in idioms - those modes of expression peculiar to a language (or dialect) which frequently defy logical and grammatical rules. The background and etymological origins of most idioms is at best obscure. This is the reason why a study of differences between the idioms of American English and British English is rather difficult. New idioms originate in the U.S and then become popular in so called «worldwide English». This new situation is completely different from the birth of American English as a ‘variant’ of British English. Here are some examples which are used in either American or British English some used in both;

«Having won the first two Tests, Australia is now almost certain to retain the Ashes» .(Ashes is a British English idiom that is nowadays a well established cricket term);

to have the edge on/over someone is originally an American English idiom, now established in almost every other form of English, including British English;

«a happy hunting ground» - place where one often goes to obtain something or to make money, originally was an American English idiom.

It has to be said that in the old days English idioms rarely originated from any other form of English than British English. Nowadays American English is in this position. Some examples of early American English idioms are «to bark up the wrong tree» or «to paddle one’s own canoe». They were derived from the speech of the American natives, like the phrase «someone speaks with a forked tongue» and «the happy hunting ground». These idioms have filtered to British English through centuries through books, newspapers, and most recently through powerful mediums like radio, television and movies.

British idioms are actually more familiar to other Europeans than to Americans even though the language is the same. The reason for all these facts is that Britain is not the world power it used to be and it must be said that the United States have taken the role of the leading nation in the development of language, media and popular culture.


2. Newspaper style Conclusion


Newspaper is a publication that appears regularly and frequently, and carries news about a wide variety of current events. Organizations such as trade unions, religious groups, corporations or clubs may have their own newspapers, but the term is more commonly used to refer to daily or weekly publications that bring news of general interest to large portions of the public in a specific geographic area.

General circulations newspapers play a role in commerce through the advertisements they carry; they provide readers with information of practical value, such as television schedules weather maps and listings of stock prices; and these newspapers provide a coarse of entertainment through their stories and through such features as comic strips and crossword puzzles. However one of the most important functions of the general- circulation newspaper (a crucial function in a democracy) is to provide citizens with information on government and politics .

The printing press was used to disseminate news in Europe shortly after Johann Gutenberg invented the letter press, employing movable type in the 1450s. in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries thousands of printed news books short pamphlets reporting on a news event ballads accounts of news events written in verse and usually printed on one side of a single sheet of paper, circulated in Europe and in the new European colonies in America. The first news report printed in the America described an earthquake in Guatemala and was printed in Mexico in 1541.

The oldest surviving newspaper written in English appears to have been published in Amsterdam in 1620 by Pieter van de Keere, a Dutch and print engraver who had lived in London for a few year.

According to the historian Joseph Frank along with their political coverage newspapers in England in the 1640s, were among the first in the world to use headlines, to print advertisements, to illustrate stories with woodcuts, to employ a woman _ «a she –intelligencer»_ to collect news and to have newsboys, or more commonly newsgirls, sell papers in the streets. They are also among the first newspapers to complete with news books and news ballads in coverage of sensational events like bloody crimes.

Newspaper style was the last of all the styles of written literary English to be recognized as a specific form of writing standing apart from other forms. English newspaper style dates from the 17th century. Newspaper writing is addressed to a broad audience and devoted to important social or political events, public problems of cultural or moral character. The first of any regular series of English newspapers was the Weekly News which first appeared on May 20, 1622. The 17th century saw the rise of a number of other news sheets which, with varying success, struggled on in the teeth of discouragement and restrictions imposed by the Crown. With the introduction of a strict licensing system many such sheets were suppressed, and the Government, in its turn, set before the public a paper of its own – the London Gazette, first published on February 5, 1666. The paper was a semi – weekly and carried official information, royal decrees, news from abroad, and advertisements.

The general aim the newspaper is to exert influence on public opinion, to convince the reader or listener that the interpretation given by writer or the speaker is the only correct one and to cause him to accept the point of view expressed in the speech, essay or article merely by logical argumentation, but by emotional appeal as well. It falls in two varieties: the essay and the article.

The essay in English literature dates from the 16th century and its name is taken from the short « Essays» (= experiments, attempts) by the French writer Montaigne, which contained his thoughts on various subjects. According to Galperinan essay «is rather a series of personal and witty comments than a finished argument or a conclusive examination of any matter . Nowadays an essay is usually a kind of feature article in a magazine or newspaper. Essays are written commonly by one and the same writer or journalist, who has cultivated his own individual style. Some essays, depending on a writer’s individuality, are written in a highly emotional manner resembling the style of emotive prose.

The most characteristic features of essays, however remain

Brevity of expression

The use of the first person singular, which justifies a personal approach to the problems treated:

A rather expended use of connectives, which facilitates the process of grasping the correlation of ideas;

The abundant use of emotive words

The use of idioms and metaphors as one of the media for the cognitive process

Newspapers are most often published on a daily or weekly basis, and they usually focus on one particular geographic area where most of their readers live. Despite recent setbacks in circulation and profits, newspapers are still the most iconic outlet for news and other types of written journalism. To understand the language peculiarities of English newspaper style it will be sufficient to analyze the following basic newspaper features

brief news items

advertisements and announcements

the headline

the editorial

The headline is a dependent form of newspaper writing. The main function of the headline is to inform the reader briefly what the text that follows is about. In other words headlines are almost a summary of the information contained in the news item or article.

The function of editorial is to influence the reader by giving an interpretation of certain facts. Editorials comment on the political

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