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Newspaper Page Text
ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN
Style in Writing. While talking
with a newspaper writer the other
day he spoke favorably of what he
thought was my style in writing. I
told him I had no style, and that what
he thought was style was absence of
Style, is a good 'thing when you
have nothing particular to say, and
merely write for the sake of writing
just as ornate style in speaking is
interesting when a speaker wants to
spout words instead of thoughts, or
spouts words because he has no
thoughts of consequence.
But if a man has something to say
if he has a message he wants his
audience to think of what he says in
stead of how he says it. In writing,
it is the same. The man with a mes
sage wants to convey the message,
and not confuse by overdressing it
If a lecturer came out on the plat
form in evening clothes and every
thing was black or white except a
bright red necktie, people couldn't
keep their eyes off that sensational
necktie. They would see the neck
tie, when all they should be watch
ing was the play of the man's fea
tures as he talked.
An overdressed thought is as ob
jectionable as an overdressed man or
woman provided one.is really trying
to deliver a message.
There are styles in writing that
help sink an idea in, but such s'tyles
are useful only as getting the idea
home by entertaining the reader.
Peter Dunne's Dooley stuff does this.
But there is resistance in dialect, and
I don't care ordinarily to wade
Newspaper writing, where you are
trying to tell the people something,
is best when the simplest words and
language construction are used. One
reason I don't care to break in college
men as reporters is that they have
too much language. Another reason
is that the young man who couldn't
afford to go to college, but had to go
to work, is generally as many years
ahead of the college graduate i4
knowledge of human nature and
everyday life as the college man
spent in college.
Shortly after I started The Day
Book the staff asked for a dictionary.
I told them I wouldn't get one; and
the reason given was that every dic
tionary was full of big words, and I
was afraid the reporters would find
some of them and get them into The
The larger a man's vocabulary the
smaller his understanding audience.
There is joy for those who under
stand the- finer shadings of meaning
in words, in reading the writings of
learned writers; but there are few
college jrofessors and many people.
I would like to write so that every
person who can read at all will un
derstand what I am trying to say,
without bothering about how I am
I don't blame a man with a weak
chin for wearing whiskers. Neither
do I blame a writer who has nothing
to say for saying it well.
LETTERS TO EDITOR
A DAY BOOK BOOSTER
To the Readers of The Day Book:
Now as we all know that Mr. Coch
ran does not use the usual news
paper tactics to increase the circula
tion of The Day Book, so what you!
say we do a little ourselves.
This is the plan Print a sign on
cardboard or white paper and paste:
on cardboard, as follows: "Read Thej
Day Book." Put the emphasis on thet
Read; put this sign in your window
where persons passing by can easily
Then we will ask the editor to let
us know if it brings any results. ,
Without doubt most Day Book
readers feel as I do in one respect at.
least, I feel that a reader of The
.r . .4ead