Date: Sun, 18 Feb 1996 02:04:38 -0500 From: Bob Haas Subject: Re: silly rules of grammar Seth, back when I was in journalism school (it's been awhile now), such broadcast headlines were called teasers. The practice of composing them in present tense was never directly addressed, but we were all assured (by very competent faculty) that present tense was the way to go. The practice seems to be the same all over the country, particularly at local stations. I imagine that news editors still prefer it because it gives an air of immediacy to the headlines and keeps viewers peeled for details; you see a lot of it in newsbreaks and over programming credits before newscasts. While I personally find it a little goofy, I've no problem with understanding what the talking heads are communicating. Another case of tv-speak. Bob Haas University of North Carolina at Greensboro rahaas[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] On Sat, 17 Feb 1996, SETH SKLAREY wrote: > I have a British friend who gets especially upset watching American newscasts. > The tendency is for newscasters to speak in the present tense for past events. > "Gunman gets shot as police open fire. Film at 11." (It happened yesterday.) > How common is this around the country, and why is it so prevalent on the news?