Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thank God I'm Not a Sports Writer

I was glancing over the newspaper and my eye fixed on the sports page. The headline read “Sharp's Injury Is Death Nail in Hawks Season.” “Death Nail?” Hmmmm. It's a whole new concept. And, most of today's readers probably never even heard of a Death Knell...

To be a news writer of any kind stretches the limits of the English language because each specific news area has such a limited vocabulary. Sports, for instance. How many ways can you say that a team won? Good sports writers find creative ways. Team names help, as do individual players' names. But still, the essence is the same – one team won and the opposing team lost. The headline usually features the team that most people who read the article would support, which makes it tough in Chicago when the Cubs and the Sox play.

However, the day in and day out task of writing news challenges its writers to be creative within the confines of the vocabulary and genre. We fiction writers can be similarly challenged, and to be truly interesting, we must be just as creative and well versed in craft and vocabulary. We could also learn from the daily diligence of the news writer. Practice, practice, practice!

But, I still say – Thank God, I'm not a sports writer!

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