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Readers: Do they care about word choice?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BertoltBrecht, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. BertoltBrecht

    BertoltBrecht Member

    So I was complaining about things that annoy me in writing to my non-journalist girlfriend and I asked her question about a lede I hated: Something super-cliche.
    It didn't seem to bother her at all. Neither did the sportscenter-y lingo found in other stories.
    I know my girlfriend isn't the average reader, but she's a casual sports page peruser in her mid 20s — someone no different than the schlubs in focus groups — the people we redesign and try to appeal to.
    I've cursed writers who use verbs such as "poured" to describe a made three-point shot or turn every gamer into an endless personification of a team's mascot (see "cat fight"). But these are people who've got better jobs than me and seem to have great job security.

    Do readers even care? Do they even enjoy that "style?"
  2. Kamaki

    Kamaki Member

    Any pictures to share?
  3. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    To younger readers, the kind of style you describe is considered cute, trendy and unobtrusive. I've discovered (and this isn't scientific by any means), the older a reader gets, the smarter they become and the less they want to read that kind of crap. It takes a hell of a lot of talented writers and editors to pull off intelligent, witty and cliche-free copy that can appeal to that demographic. Otherwise, it's just Chris Berman. That's my take, anyway.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    You know what's happened at my place, and it's only stoppable to some extent?

    The old '40s-'50s-whatever jargon is popular with the younger editors.

    Pitchers hurling. Pacts being inked. Etc.

    Kinda weird. It's either simply bad, or kind of retro. I'm sometimes not quite sure.
  5. OTD

    OTD Well-Known Member

    Any hassocks bulging?
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    They safe that for Happy Hour.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Naw, we haven't gotten that far. I'm sure some of them have been juiced, though.
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I think a return to the old school newspaper jargon is kind of cool in small doses.

    Don't need to see any thinclads, though.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Probably if they see pictures of the 20-year-old girlfriend. :D :D
  10. Bertolt,

    I've had the same experience with non-journalist friends and family.

    They just don't notice or care.
  11. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Most people can tell good writing from bad writing, even if they can't verbalize why something is good or bad.
  12. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    I agree with Some Guy. They aren't actively scrutinizing the writing, but they can tell if something sucks, especially if they're regular readers.
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