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To expect a newspaper to not use slang in a serious news article

40 replies

lucyellensmum · 08/09/2007 21:30

I dont usually get all precious about the English language, on account of the fact that mine is pretty rubbish. However, i picked up a copy of the Sun in the hospital waiting room yesterday, i was trying to keep up with what was happening to the poor Mc Cann family. Throughout the artical, the police were referred to as cops.
. I do appreciate that the Sun is not exactly a broadsheet and the news is presented in a, how can i say without causing offence, dumbed down context. But Cops???? This is not only slang, but almost a humourous description of the police and i actually found it inappropriate in this instance. I find it a little patronising towards its readers too, the assumption that they would rather read slang than correct English. It is not like police is a difficult word is it. Thats it, rant over.

OP posts:

themoon66 · 08/09/2007 21:32


But then again... It is the Sun.


lucyellensmum · 08/09/2007 21:37

well quite, but i was surprised, even for the rag. My dad said he used to buy it for the crossword, hmmmm

OP posts:

Elasticwoman · 08/09/2007 22:00

It used to be said that the Sun could be read and understood by any one with a reading age of 6.

Also wasn't there a political candidate once who claimed to stand for the party of Reclassify The Sun As A Comic? Any one remember that? Was it Screaming Lord Sutch?


donnie · 08/09/2007 22:03

ummm....sorry but are you serious here?


Elasticwoman · 08/09/2007 22:03

ps the crossword is the same one for cryptic or concise clues. Too hard for the average 6 year old I'd say.


Elasticwoman · 08/09/2007 22:03

Serious about what, Donnie?


SenoraPostrophe · 08/09/2007 22:03

cops is better because it takes up less space. They also use "pal" for friend, "boffin" for scientist/engineer/mathematician (presumably because they can't be bothered to check which is involved ever.

There are probably more.


Desiderata · 08/09/2007 22:05

YANBU. It would jar with me, too.


donnie · 08/09/2007 22:06

serious about being surprised and/or taken aback at the Sun using slang/colloquialisms and dumbing down news stories. Have you only just noticed this lucyellensmum? because it's been happening for around 30 years now.


WideWebWitch · 08/09/2007 22:10

(or used to be), There's a fantastic book called Stick it up your punter which is v illuminating and a great read about The Sun. Don't underestimate it.

But anyway, if you read a tabloid I hardly expect you can be surprised to read stuff like

MP in 3 in a bed romp shock
tot in dog maul horror

So either don't read tabloids or live with it. YABU imo.


LittleBella · 08/09/2007 22:10


Are you serious?


LittleBella · 08/09/2007 22:11

Tot and romp are words you don't use in real life, they're only used in tabloids


WideWebWitch · 08/09/2007 22:11

Sorry, don't know what happened there, was talking at same time and my hands made a multi tasking mix up


donnie · 08/09/2007 22:12

the fewer syllables the better. Plus lots of alliteration. Puts Eliot to shame.


WideWebWitch · 08/09/2007 22:12

Exactly. There are lots of words used by the tabloid press which are rarely used irl. The trouble is, if you read them you find yourself saying things like "did you read about X in the MP Sex shock shocker?" - i.e. repeatig the headline verbatim! (Used to buy news of screws sometimes)


stepfordwife · 08/09/2007 22:14

...and has anyone ever had a "romp"?


stepfordwife · 08/09/2007 22:16

..sorry just seen your post, lb...
makes two of us who haven't romped then...


southeastastra · 08/09/2007 22:17

god all the orrible things going on in this world and you worry about the sun


ScottishMummy · 08/09/2007 22:24

LOL southeastra o i think of sun as a comic not reputable newspaper


LittleBella · 08/09/2007 22:26

I love the idea of romping.

It sounds so healthy and natural and outdoor.

But I suspect it may not be...


donnie · 08/09/2007 22:27

I have a romper suit.


LittleBella · 08/09/2007 22:27


Would it be a mistake to ask you what it looks like?

Would it lead us places we may not want to go?


startouchedtrinity · 08/09/2007 22:28

I agree with WWW. If you read the Sun, that is what you get.

Another Tabloid word is raunchy. Ugh!


donnie · 08/09/2007 22:30

You don't want to go there bella.


Alambil · 09/09/2007 00:56

the whole point of the tabloids is to be easy to scan / read. This is why they are loaded with rhyming, catchy headlines, short sentences and paragraphs and also have pragraph headings too (one or two words to "sum up" usually) This makes it unthreatening to the readership, unlike a broadsheet with reams and reams of words with no spaces between the paragraphs - as in "proper" writing)

serious topics get a complete vocabulary overhaul in order to make reading it easier and faster. (I am sad - I breifly studied tabloid press in uni the other year..!)

I'm not at all surprised at the Sun using "cops"; it is the whole point of a tabloid. Surely if you wanted to read the story with better vocab, you should have got the Times or Telegraph or likewise?

I think YABU, seeing as this is the way tabloid press works.

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