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Sometimes I come across sentences or phrases which should (in my opinion) contain the verb "to be" (present continuous tense) but they actually don't. Last time I saw that on CNN in the running line, there was something like "Trump and Clinton working to flip states in their favor" (it was not a capitalized title).

So, is there any rule for that or it's just a feature of mass media?

UPD: here's the answer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlinese

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    Newspapers and news media in general tend to short the titles for reason of space.
    – user5267
    Oct 31, 2016 at 20:16
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    Titles, subtitles, and picture captions (for example) do not have to be full sentences. But this would not be done in the body of an article. Omitting the verb "to be" will make any sentence sound like the title of something.
    – cbh
    Oct 31, 2016 at 20:23
  • I thought it's applicable only for capitalized titles. Ok, thanks, I'll keep in mind that news media use their own rules :) Oct 31, 2016 at 20:58
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    If you look up "Headlinese", you'll find plenty of information about this style.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 31, 2016 at 22:21
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    Remember, though: it is not just journalists who use their own "rules", but almost everyone who speaks English. Those "rules" are not mandatory. There is no enforcement body that punishes violators. Even outside of journalism, writers and speakers write and speak English just as they wish. The grammarians come after, making "rules" out of those usages. The usages come first, and the rules are merely their result; so don't be surprised or puzzled when you find something that doesn't follow those "rules" you've learned. Most English speakers never give them a thought. Nov 1, 2016 at 5:38

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Update: here's the answer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlinese

Newspapers and news media in general tend to short the titles for reason of space.

Remember, though: it is not just journalists who use their own "rules", but almost everyone who speaks English. Those "rules" are not mandatory. There is no enforcement body that punishes violators. Even outside of journalism, writers and speakers write and speak English just as they wish. The grammarians come after, making "rules" out of those usages. The usages come first, and the rules are merely their result; so don't be surprised or puzzled when you find something that doesn't follow those "rules" you've learned. Most English speakers never give them a thought.

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    Re: "writers and speakers write and speak English just as they wish": This is misleading. Most writers and speakers wish to follow the rules of forms of English they're writing and speaking in; for example, no one would say "Trump and Clinton working to flip states in their favor" when speaking aloud, because that doesn't conform to the rules of spoken English, and no one has any desire to violate the rules in that way.
    – ruakh
    Nov 8, 2016 at 6:12

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