[Abstract] Headlines are quite essential for English news. They are the windows of news. the paper concludes tense and voice features in headlines and sums up the most important feature of headlines: omission. This paper aims to help English learners know English news well and read news efficiently.
[Key Words] English; headline; feature ;omission
Omission in Headlines
“Economy and compression are the most important features of headlines.” 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.”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.
19)227 arrested in Chile as thousands take to street ( = 227 people are arrested in Chile as thousands of people take to street)
(20) Russia-Georgia Relations at Odds ( = Russia-Georgia Relations are at Odds)
(21) They Have Reason to Smile (= They Have a Reason to Smile )
(22) U. S. Foreign Relations Act Unacceptable ( = The U. S. Foreign Relations Act is Unacceptable )
(23) NPC wants to make sure pupils attend school ( = NPC wants to make sure that pupils attend school)
(24) U.S. , Japan In Pact on Electronics ( = U.S. and Japan Are in Pact on Electronics )
The Purposes of News Headline
According to Bruce H. Westley(1972), from the readers‟ point of view, newspaper headlines serve the following purposes:
1. To index the news. Readers can locate the news that interests him most as quickly as possible by browsing the headlines of the news line by line.
2. To transmit the main content of news by the headline. Readers can get the news highlights by passing across them.
3. To convey the relative significance of the news. News significance is expressed in terms
of type display-the relative size and weight of the headline used.
4.To produce attractive effects. The headline with all its various forms is an indispensable part for the purposes both eye-catching and balancing pages.
5.To make a stable identity of a piece of newspaper. The consistent use of familiar headline structures gives the newspaper a relatively familiar personality.
The Requirements of News Headline
2. don‟t overreach.
3. attract attention
2.1 冠词基本省略。例如:FILM-STAR MARRIES EX-PRIEST (=A FILM-STAR MARRIES AN
ELECTION IS LANDSLIDE FOR SOCIALISTS (=THE ELECTION IS A LANDSLIDE FOR THE SOCIALISTS )社会党人竞选大获全胜
tenth of British mackerel catch ground into feed
a tenth of British mackerel catch ground into feed英国捕获鳍鱼一成碾为饲料
three gorges flooded by ‟farewell… tourists== the three gorges flooded by ‟farewell… tourists
2.2 联系动词通常省略。例如:three dead after inhalling oven gas = three are dead after inhalling oven gas 吸入炉灶煤气三人窒息身亡
clintion inauguaration most expensive ever=clinton inauguaration is most expensive ever.
financier killed by burglars==== a financier is killed by burglars
pope to visit japan in february ====pope is to visit japan in february教皇拟于二月访日
india mending fences====india is mending fences印度正在改善与邻国的关系
us,vientnam resume talks=us and vietnam resume talks美越恢复会谈
nbc's president robert wright seeks big acquisition ,ventures for the network.=
nbc's president robert wright seeks big acquistions and ventures for the network