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'. " FIFTY COMMON ERRORSOF NEWSPAPERWRITING From ~he 1974 annual report of the Writing and Editing Committee of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, ,here is a list of SO common-errors in news- paper writing. Most are examples of word usage, some are ~pelling, some are grammatical rules. ' - There's plenty of room for quibbling about the list. If you don't agree with all the rulings, feel free to take those tips you like and change those you don't. Newspaper writing can stand a lot of improvement. There doesn't seem to be much chance for improvement, however, unless words are used well--spelled co~rectly and put together with precision and clarity. The basic rules'must be mastered before a reporter or editor can get to the subtleties of writing and editing. This, list includes suggestions from APME committee members and from friends of the committee. The bulk of it was assembled and written over several years by Dick Reid, an assistant managing editor of the Minneapolis Tribune, whose offerings have appearedin Tribunestaffmemosas CommonFlaws, Ltd. ' 1. Affect, effect. Generally, affect is the verb; effect the noun. "The letter did not affect the outcome." "The letter had a significant effect." BUT effect is also a verb meaning to bring about. Thus: "It is almost impossible to effect change." 2. Afterward, afterwards. Use'afterward. The dictionary allows use of'after- wards only as a second form. 3. All right. That's the way to spell it. The dictionary may list alright as a legitimate word, but it is not acceptable in standard usage, says Random House. 4. Allude, elude. You allude to (or indirectly mention). a book. You elude (or escape)a pursuer. - s. Annual. Don't use first with it. If it's the first time, it can't be an annual. 6. Averse, adverse. If you don't like something, you are averse (or opposed) to it. Adverse is an adjective: Adverse' (bad) weather," adverse conditions. 7. Block, bloc. A bloc is a coalition of persons or a group with the same pur- pose or goal. Don't call it a block, which has some 40 dictionary definitions. 8. Compose, comprise. Remember that the parts comprise the whole apd the whole is composed of the parts. You compose things by putting them together. Once'the parts are put together, the object 'is composed 'of the parts. 9. Couple of. You need the of. It's never "a couple tomatoes~" , 10. Demolish, destroy. They mean to do away with completely. You can't partially demolish or destroy something, nor is there any need to say 'totally destroyed. 11. Different from. Things and people are different from each other. Don't write that they are different 'than each other. ---- 12. Drown. Don't say someone was drowned unless an assailant held the victim's head under water. Just say the victim'drowned. ' 13. Due to, owing to, because of. We prefer the last. Wrong:
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