18 March 2013

Common Newspaper Style

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from the entry for April 21, 1832 in The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, (London: Oxford University Press, 1917), p. 176:
Common phrases are, as it were, so stereotyped now by conventional use, that it is really much easier to write on the ordinary politics of the day in the common newspaper style, than it is to make a good pair of shoes. An apprentice has as much to learn now to be a shoemaker as ever he had; but an ignorant coxcomb, with a competent want of honesty, may very effectively wield a pen in a newspaper office, with infinitely less pains and preparation than were necessary formerly.