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Essential English: For Journalists, Editors and Writers (Pimlico) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Harold Evans

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25. Juli 2000 Pimlico (Buch 405)
This brisk and pungent guide to the use of words as tools of communication is written primarily for journalists, yet its lessons are of immense value to all who face the problem of giving information, whether to the general public or within business, professional or social organizations. What makes a good English sentence? How should you rewrite a bad one? What clichés and other word-traps are to be avoided? How do you shorten unnecessarily verbose source-material? Using a wealth of examples drawn from British and American newspapers, Essential English is an indispensable guide for all who have to convey information by the written or printed word.



Don't write "remunerate" when you mean "pay". You should "send" not "transmit" and "help" but not "facilitate". Take care with meanings too. If you're "disinterested" you're not bored, you're impartial. "Less" is not interchangeable with "fewer" and a "principle" is different from a "principal".

Harold Evans, editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981 and then of The Times for a year, first wrote his Newsman's English and News Headlines in the 1970s. In an age of increasingly sloppy English, Evans's books acquired the status of classics with their condemnation of dangling participles and gratuitous adjective and adverbs. Now they've been edited, updated and merged into a single new volume by Crawford Gillan. The emphasis, which hasn't dated at all, is still on the need for plain muscular English which says what it has to say in as few well-chosen words as possible.

The book has at least three uses. First, it could be a text book for trainee journalists, especially given the large number of published verbose examples Evans quotes and then rewrites as demonstration pieces. Second, it has plenty of advice for experienced journalists and editors trying to write better. Third, it is full of useful advice for anyone--beyond the media--who wants to write more coherently.

Essential English certainly raises awareness. You probably won't read it without feeling obliged to double back and delete your redundancies the next time you write something. In the common expression "depreciate in value" the last two words, for instance, can go without loss of meaning. You don't need "gainful" in front of "employment" either and Evans lists dozens of other examples. And be brutal with tired expressions such as "wealth of information" or "pillar of the church", he advises. He also provides an intriguing thesaurus for headline writers in search of pithiness. For "harmonisation," try "accord", "bargain", "compact", "pact", "peace", or "truce", he says. --Susan Elkin


"Demonstrates how to clear whole jungles of vagueness and verbal clutter." - TLS

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 5.0 von 5 Sternen  2 Rezensionen
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Writers' bible 2. Juni 2008
Von Atle Rønning - Veröffentlicht auf
Essential English is the essential writing tool book for journalists and editors. I was first introduced to this book whilst studying journalism at The University of Sheffield in the UK.

It quickly became one of my favourites. It is a mix of a reference book and textbook. Even if I have written thousands of titles and summaries I still find that I return to this one to fine tune my skills.

This book was first published in 1972 and I found it strange that no one had written a review before me. Just because a book is getting old doesn't mean that it is outdated. This is a must have book for all aspiring journalists and a nice to have for experienced journalists who doesn't know it all already.
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Harold Evans is compelling. Always. 19. August 2013
Von S. Harrison - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Harold Evans is always compelling, more interesting to read than darn near anyone else in print, even when teaching English to journalists and writers. If you're curious, buy this book!! [Disclaimer: I have just begun to read it, so don't choose based on my writing skills!]
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