Sick of reading the same old journalistic clichés in the news? In a round-robin newspaper sent to various titles, Ravensbourne student Simon Rogers has issued a challenge to journalists to expand their linguistic horizons and reach for that thesaurus
Around this time of year the CR offices receive a deluge spate of self-promotional material from graduating students, so much so that a swift scurryfunge is in order everytime we have visitors. However, an A3 newspaper from Simon Rogers entitled Linguistic Langour Plagues The Press immediately stood out obtruded.
It’s a chain letter challenge to journalists to stop using clichés or tired phrases such as ‘under fire’, ‘binge drinking’ and that current favourite ‘austere/austerity’ and instead try to be more adventurous venturesome in their writing.
Rogers picks out stories from various papers where some of his pet hates have been used and suggests livelier alternatives: instead of ‘Rhianna reveals her attraction to men who eat everything’ why not ‘Rhianna reveals her attraction to pamphagous men’? Instead of ‘under fire’ why not ‘lambasted’?
The paper arrived at CR with a personalised note explaining that, if I had received it, that meant it had already been to the Independent, Metro, Times, Daily Mail and It’s Nice That. The envelope contained three more numbered, stamped and addressed envelopes for the next recipients. Once I had finished with it, all I had to do was pop it into envelope number 7 and stick deposit it in the post.
While a jirged journalist may squizzle at Rogers for his impudence, lecture him on the principles of writing for an audience and even the rich tradition of ‘tabloid speak’ in the UK as a means of being plebicolar, his pulchritudinously designed missive is more than an exercise in phlyarology. Its message is one that even the most flippercanorious writer would do well to note, lest they become too lugubrious.
The paper also contains a challenge to the recipient to use as many of a list of endangered words as possible in an article.
Rogers has just his finished his Foundation at Ravensbourne and will be starting a Graphic Design BA at Kingston in September. See his work here
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