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英语新闻标题的特点

时间:2020-02-22    点击: 次    来源:网络转载    作者:佚名www.relunwen.com - 小 + 大

[abstract] headlines are quite essential for english news. they are the windows of news. this paper describes the types of headlines and also explains the features of headlines. firstly, introduction of classifications of headlines can give readers a perceptual knowledge. secondly, in order to give readers some rational knowledge about headlines, this paper then explains characteristics of vocabularies in headlines, ie. short words, shortenings, quotations, proverbs, wisdoms, idioms are often used in headline. it also gives examples of rhetorical characteristics such as metaphor, contrast, rhyme, pun, metonymy and paradox and so on so forth. finally the paper concludes tense and voice features in headlines and sums up the most important feature of headlines: omission. news media is the best channel of knowing every field including politics, economics, science, culture, and society. this paper aims to help english learners know english news well and read news efficiently.
[key words] english; headline; feature      
 

 
【摘 要】英语新闻标题在报刊英语中占有十分重要的地位,可谓是新闻的概要,也是新闻的窗口。WWw.relunwen.COM本文就新闻标题进行了全面的归类和分析。首先,描述标题在形式上的分类和意义上的分类,让读者对新闻标题有一定的感性认识;然后再进一步说明标题用词短小,喜欢用缩略词和截短词及典故;再对新闻标题善用各种修辞手段:比喻,对比,押韵,双关,借代,矛盾修辞法进行举例分析;又归纳了时态语态在新闻标题中的变换省略和替代;最后对新闻标题最大的特色:省略详加叙述。至此,希望读者已经对英语新闻标题有了理性深入的了解。阅读新闻是对了解当今政治,经济,科学,文化,和社会等信息最有效的方法,而对英语新闻标题的理解掌握,则使英语新闻的阅读更有效率。
【关键词】 英语; 新闻标题; 特点

1.introduction
a piece of news is composed by three parts: headline,leading and body among which a headline is the epitome and highlight of the content of newspapers and periodicals.
    headlines printed on the papers are the windows of the news and it can let readers know it is worth reading .it is essential for readers to understand headlines to decide which column should be read while which not.
in this paper, features of using vocabulary , tense and voice,omission of words and using of various rhetoric of headlines from english newspapers and periodicals are approached for the purpose of giving a better understanding of the contents of news and improving english learners’ reading ability.
2.types of headlines
2.1 categories according to their forms.
2.1.1 flush left headline
in a flush left headline, every word takes up one line and begins at the very left. that is the common form of modern english newspapers. the following example can show you what is a flush left headline.
e.g. imf
will
have
say
2.1.2 banner headline
every headline word in it is large and bold and the whole headline often covers several columns. it is also called first large headline and often used in front page for its attraction.
e.g. house passes bush plan to cut taxes
2.1.3 drop form headline
it looks like a ladder. there are several lines in it and the following line draws back several letters from the above one. beauty and nice are its merits.
e.g. fbi agrees to cease
its illegal surveillance
              of the research institute
2.1.4inverted pyramid headline
it is also popular for nice looking. it forms a pyramid-looking headline.
e.g. factory walkout
      threat over
        sacking
2.1.5 double headline
this kind of headline is used mostly for the report of big events. it has two lines: one is main headline and the other auxiliary headline.
 (1)e.g.1   expect to go to u.s.
castro to free thousands of prisoners
  (2)e.g.2 it isn’t the cow that are mad
              it’s the people that are going mad
2.1.6 jump head headline
the headline is divided into two parts: original head and jump head. a original part is in one page, but after the body jumps pages, the original head will be changed into a jump head which uses different words from original one to express the same meaning.  
e.g. pentagen plans
system to flight
russia satellites
(original)
u.s.plans weapon
   against satellites
    (jump head)
2.2 categories according to their meanings
2.2.1 strait headline
this kind of headline tells us strait about the subjects of news. this is the most common one and is easy to understand.
(1)e.g.1 railroad workers strike in argentina.
(2)e.g.2 man jailed for murder
(3)e.g.3 oil tanker fire
2.2.2 questioning headline
question marks often be seen in this kind of headlines but most of them do not have meanings of questioning. they often give a clue of possibility or writer’s doubt about the reality of some facts.
(1)e.g. oil price to rise?
(2)e.g. new cabinet today?
(3)e.g. jones planned to kill bush?
(4)e.g. police allowed jail break?
2.2.3 feature headline
it is often to use feature headline when a piece of news is unusual or readers will be quite interested in it. such headlines are not easy to understand,sometimes the whole news should be read.
(1)e.g. down in the mouth,news for dentists.
this report is about a kind of vaccine, which is studied out and will be used for preventing teeth decay.
(2)e.g.、the man who reign over uk’s queen
reign means rule over and it is only used for a queen or a king. so the connection of “man” and “reign” may get readers confused, then they may be eager to find why. not until the whole news are read. they find the man is just a captain of a ship named queen mary.
2.2.4. oration headline
this kind of headline can be divided into:
(ⅰ)use of sayings as headlines
e.g. “we owe our lives to our pilot”
(ⅱ)quote words from interviewers or reporters or other people heard by writers.
(1)e.g. “we have to save our people”
(2)e.g. “we won’t quit”
(ⅲ)choose one sentence,some words or one word from the whole news as a headline.
(1)e.g. i have a dream
(2)e.g. mugwump britain
   “mugwump britain” criticize britain is a double-dealer. she at one hand keeps a special relationship with u.s. but at the other hand she claims to be aside with west europe.
(ⅳ) some words in a headline with quotation marks are usually not their original meanings.
e.g. norse invasion
the headline does not indicate the invasion by north europe in ancient. it really tells that norway men go shopping and touring in a large group as invasion. so this so called invasion is not its original meaning.
3.features of using vocabularies in headlines
headlines of news tend to use special words which we all know in daily but may get confused when meet them in news.
3.1 short words are often used.
editors disgust long words badly which not only take up lines but also seemed ugly. for the sake of nice and balance,editors like short words to generalize news.
e.g. aid-assistance     foe -opponent; enemy
   bid-attempt        nab-capture
   pact-agreement     wed -marry
   probe-investigation    rap-accusation, charge
   rout-defeat, completely      set-ready
“it has been lasting several years to use short words in news headlines. mncken,an american linguist,said ‘ it is the outstanding characteristic of using very short words in headlines.’ in his work ‘american english’. similar examples as above are so many in modern english newspapers.”[1] p48
“it is worth saying that single syllables beginning with explode are used more for its shortness and power, such as bid,bust,pop,cut,chop,kill,curb,gut,mug…. many of the vocabularies in headlines are anglo-saxson words which are oral,simple,plain and lively. what’s more, they have been accepted by the public.”[2] p48
“yet vocabularies of english headlines sometimes tend to short so that they lack of accuracy. that should not be learned. ”[3] p48
3.2 use of shortenings widely.
in english,there are three kinds of shortenings: acronyms,alphabetisms and clippings,which are widely used in headlines for their shortness and conciseness.
(1)e.g. auto chief to get $219m
(2)e.g. merger helps chrysler ceo
(auto-automobile company, m-million, ceo-chief executive officer)
3.3 use of literary quotations,proverbs,wisdoms,idioms. 
terry.l.fredenkson,in his “journal english” he said idioms are full of headlines. they are used widely as well as changed their forms very often to give a sense of being humor and alive.
(1)e.g. all roads to venice
  ( changing form of all roads lead to rome )
(2)e.g. farewell to arms
it tells about the communist party’s secretary of soviet union advised us president to destroy nuclear weapons completely. it quotes the name of a famous book ,“a fare well to arms” .
(3)e.g refugees in dice straits
“in dice straits” is an idiom means in a difficult or dangerous situation.
3.4 use of neologism and foreign words
this kind of uncommon word can also strikes the eye. editors know readers are unfamiliar with these words, so they always give explanation in a context. neologism and foreign words always connected with places and contents that are reported.
(1)e.g.yen benefits from european funds
yen is japanese monitory unit.
(2)e.g. ‘beriozka’ brings russian fork dance
“berioaka” is russian “beriozka (birch tree)company”
3.5 new words and wrong spellings
“to give a striking and fresh feeling, editors tend to use new words and wrong spellings.
(1)e.g. the orangemostest drink in the world
orangemostest is made up by orange+most+est, “most” and “est” are both used together to stress the quality of the orange drink.
(2)e.g.we know eggsactly how to sell eggs
eggsactly is a similar sound of exactly and relative to eggs. this unique word formation game can doubtlessly catch readers’eyes.”[4] p115
3.6 imitation
3.6.1 chang letters
this is the easiest way to imitation by changing letters of a word or some words we are familiar with.
e.g. man behaving dadly
the text introduces an english tv program “man behaving badly ” in which the last screen shows a bad man got a son and become a dad, so the writer replace the badly into dadly. 
3.6.2 add letters
e.g. gooooooal! but pity the guy between the posts
add five “o” and the picture of kicking in is here.
3.6.3add hyphens
a hyphen can divide a word into two parts, from which new sense appears.
e.g. cat-astrophic mistake over fishy misery
4.using of rhetoric in headlines.
this kind of headlines use various rhetoric means to attract readers.
4.1 metaphor
e.g. a house in two parts 
this is a headline of a report discussing canadian country system. this report introduce main existing differences in language, law,cultural and concept between english speaking canada  and french speaking canada. thereby illustrate the unsteady of canadian system. “a house in two part” is suitable as well as vivid.
4.2 contrast
e.g. u.s. is long on game shows,short on foreign news
this is a press on u.s. tv program. it is distinctly contrast and irony.
4.3 alliteration and consonance
(1)e.g. soldiers salary soars
“s” is the beginning letter of every words ,and this is alliterate.
(2)e.g “the great white wait’’
“in e.g2. “white” indicate snow and letter “t” is the rhyme ending of three words.”[5] p36
“alliteration and rhyme here sounds well and give a special atmosphere to catch readers eyes.”[6] p139

4.4 puns
puns are often in irony,humorous headlines. if they are used proper this trend would be stronger.
(1)e.g. “the sun sets for the last time”
“it tells us an english newspaper in hong kong called sun is stop coming out. the ‘sun’ here is a pun.”[7] p111
(2)e.g. “african statesman still sowing seeds for future”
“this report is about julius nyerere,president of tansonia,who is sowing seeds happily in his hometown where is far from big cities after retired. but africa is unsteady thus many international leaders go all the way to learn from him the ways of saving a country. so he is still sowing seeds for the future of africa. ‘sowing seeds’ is a pun in this headline.”[8] p349
4.5 metonymy
when using metonymy, the person or the thing a writer want to write are not  shown directly in a headline,but by borrowing other things connected to indicate them indirectly.
(1)e.g. a royal pain for the crown 
here crown is not the real crown but indicate the queen.
(2)e.g. uncle sam’s island
uncle sam is nearly known to all. it is another informal sayings of american government or americans.
metonymy can avoid repeating certain words and strengthen the affection,so it is used largely in modern newspaper,even some of metonymies become to be public words, such as white house, bucking ham palace, downing street, motor city, and so on.
4.6 paradox
(1)e.g.:for ramadan,jerusalem is quiet but tense   
(安静却不平静,斋月期间的耶路撒冷)
(2)e.g. surgery without the surgery?!           
(动手术  不用刀了?!)
a paradox can make readers think from two-side ways and let them understand news deeply. to understand this kind of headline well we should chew them twice or even more.
5.tense and voice of headline
verbs show actions. a piece of news will be reinforced and animous if a verb is used properly. as for our foreign readers, although its merits, it is more difficult to understand. verbs have their own tenses .so are ones in headlines. but headlines must short and accurate, so the verbs in them have special tense showing methods. english headlines do not use past tense but present tense, thus readers feel they are in the situation and the news is in time, this called journalistic present tense, the same as historical present tense in literature. above all, headlines often use three kind of tense.
5.1 use of the simple present tense
(1)e.g. we get up at six
   (they usually do as this.)  
(2)e.g. she is a nurse
(present situation.)                                                                                                                                        
in news, present tense is often used to describe things happened just now, that is to say, it is used to instead of past tense.
english learners should pay attention to this situation, do not consider present tense in headlines as they usually are.
e.g. comeback gives china a sensational thomas cap win
(the comeback gave china a sensational thomas cup win.)
5.2 use of the simple future tense
the simple future tense describes things will be happen in the future. the forms of future tense are “will (shall) do”, “be going to do” “be to do” “be about to do” and so on. but in english headlines “be to do” form in which “be” is omitted is used most. so in headlines “to do” forms express writers’ prediction of future trends.
(1)e.g. bands to gather for jazz festival
(bands are to gather for jazz festival.)
(2)e.g.   last two iraq hostages to go free
(the last two hostages in iraq are to go free.)
5.3 use of the present progressive tense
present progressive tense emphasizes certain thing is doing at present time and its result is not known at now. also “be” is usually omitted for the need of shortness.
(1)e.g. sino--british partnership progressing
(sino--british partnership is progressing)
(2)e.g. signs of rifts appearing in argentina’s junta
(the signs of rifts are appearing in argentina’s junta.)
5.4 use of passive voice
when verbs in headlines should use passive voice , the “be” in“be + participle” form and the operator followed “by” are usually omitted. thus the only left past participle can give a passive meaning directly in headlines, learners must not confused passive voice as past tense.
(1)e.g. demolition regulation welcomed
(demolition regulation is welcomed.)
(2)e.g. girl of 18 raped after threat with bread knife
(a girl of 18 was raped after she is threated with a bread knife.)
(3)e.g. 12 reported killed in a suicide bomb
(it was reported that 12 person was killed in a suicide bomb.)
    “in fact,after learners read more,they will fond active voice is used far more than passive voice. only when object is emphasize,passive voice is used. ”[9] p80 please pay attention to this.
tense and voice of a headline can be concluded in one sentence,present participle can express the progressive meaning, past participle the passive voice,infinitive form the future tense.
(1)e.g. gun-safety education facing many hurdles
(2)e.g. aircraft carrier named after president reagan
(3)e.g. house to vote on ergonomics rules
as we read these headlines how can we distinguish what kind of tense and voice the present participle,infinite and past participle indicate?firstly,learners can decide by their knowledge. secondly leading can be read for further understanding.
it should be noted that other tense at times are used in oration or question headlines.
(1)e.g. i was not his mistress
(2)e.g. we won’t quit
(3)e.g. tones planned to kill bush?
these tenses mainly used to emphasize the time.
6.omission in headlines
“economy and compression are the most important features of headlines.”[10] p108 in order to meet the need of large amount of information in modern society, english  newspaper editors at one hand enlarge their volume,adding more information,at the other hand cutting the number of words in one piece of news to save place but contain more information. that is why the function words having no real meanings are all tend to be elected in headlines.
     ways of omission are various:
6.1 most of the words deleted are function words.
 “the deleted words are often articles, link verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, auxiliary words and pronouns.”[11]p341
(1)e.g. china happy for middle east 
   (china happy for the middle east.)
(2)e.g. charles, 32 seeks bride
   (prince charles, who is 32 years old, is looking for someone to marry. )
(3)e.g.microsoft,ericsson forming joint venture
   (microsoft and ericsson forming joint venture.)
(4)e.g. alaskan oil for japan?
    (will there be alaskan oil for japan? )
(5)e.g. irish group kills ex-chief
(the irish group kills its ex-chief.)
whereas not all of the articles can be omitted.
(1)e.g. west point makes a comeback
   “make a comeback” is an idiom so “a” must be remained.
(2)e.g. how america sees the world。
   in front of “world” there must be a “the”.
(3)e.g. kill in the name of god
   “the” should be here for the sake of definit connection.
6.2 use punctuations to save pages
6.2.1” comma can be in stead of ‘and’ ”[12 ] p140
(1)e.g. tailand, malaysia ink sea reaty.
   (tailand and malaysia ink a sea treaty.)
(2)e.g. woman kills husband, self
   (a woman kills her husband and herself.)
6.2.2 use of colon
“said” or “say” can be instead by colons or double quotation marks to give a meaning that someone says something or some conclusions are drawn;
“to be” sometimes is replaced by a colon in headlines.
(1)e.g. hu :we should support third world countries
   (hu says that we should support the third world counties.)
(2)e.g. chinese cooks: masters at turning a turnip into a flower.
(chinese cooks are masters at turning a turnip into a flower.)
6.2.3 use of single quotation marks
single quotation marks can quote someone’s saying; or the words in side of them have a deep or other meanings. single quotation marks are often instead of double quotation marks for they are shorter.
(1)e.g. teen killer was angry young man.
(2)e.g. china demands u.s. stop ‘interfering’ on human rights
(3)e.g. bush unveils a ‘can do’ budget.
6.3 to save pages,abbreviations and acronyms are used.
6.3.1.abbreviations
the abbreviations often read in headlines are like follows :
afr.-africa    app.-appendix
amt.-amount      appox.-approximately
6.3.2.acronyms
“acronyms are the words formed from the initial letters of a group of words. they can save space and beautify the headlines in picturesque disorder.”[13] p27
 acronyms can be divided into three types:
(ⅰ)names of agents or organizations such as cppcc(the  chinese people’s political consultative conference)and plo ,wto…
(ⅱ) names of something that we use very often such as aids,ufo, pc…
(ⅲ)nouns for careers,positions or credits like pm (prime minister), mp(member of parliament), gm(general manager), pa(personal assistant).
6.4 using nouns,participles and short adjective to embellish words to replace long adjective or clauses.
(1)e.g. poison gas fear haunts city
   (a fear of poison gas is haunting the people in a certain city.)
(2)e.g.  3 held over college horror crash
   (3 people are being detained by the police concerning a horrifying crash at a college.)
6.5 use of numbers but without of the following nouns.
(1)e.g. 41 die as school collapses
   (41 students die as school collapses)
(2)e.g. muller charged in fondling of boy,14
    ( muller was charged in fondling of a boy of 14 years old.)
7.conclusion
above all, in a fast changing world, news media is the best channel of knowing every field including politics, economics, science, culture, and society. to read english news is the best way to get in touch with modern english and understanding headlines well can help readers comprehend the whole news and thus read news efficiently. though it benefits you a lot, to understand headlines is not such as easy as abc. if you are really eager to know well of headlines, the history and cultures of english countries, the works of english writers’, the english idioms and wisdoms that all these kinds of knowledge should be mastered. this needs you work hard and persevere.
 
 
note
except for those marked in references, the other examples are selected from english digest, english salon and china daily in recent years. 
references
[1] 端木义万. 英语报刊标题的功能及语言特色[j]. 外语研究,2001,2
[2] 同[1]
[3] 同[1]
[4] 王今生. 英文的标题语言[j]. 黑龙江教育学院学报,2002,1
[5] 许菊. 英语报刊标题的美感功能的表现手法及翻译[j]. 山东外语教学,1999,4
[6] 孙玉芝. 谈英语新闻标题的特点[j]. 辽宁师专学报,2001.1
[7] 孙崇英,常天龙. 英语报刊标题特色浅析[j]. 淮阴师专学报,1997,3
[8] 林林. 英语新闻标题的修辞与翻译[j]. 辽宁师专学报,2004,1
[9] 李万敬,马苏勇. 如何读懂英美报刊的标题[j]. 兵团教育学院学报,2001,1
[10] 张洁. 论新闻标题及翻译[j]. 漳州师范学院学报,2004,3
[11] 王玉龙,吴建清主编. 新闻英语[m].北京国防工业出版社,2005,9
[12] 同[6]
[13] 沈志和. 英语新闻标题研究[j]. 柳州师专学报,2003,9

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