Sunday, September 05, 2010

Thanks Chris Dickerson; and Me as an Old-World Dinosaur of Writing and Journalism

This quote comes from Facebook friend Chris Dickerson, a former-journalist and a fine writer whose works I admire.

"You, my friend, are a fine journalist. I'll be reading ALL your work. Great writes."

Thanks Chris. This is high praise indeed from such a good writer himself. I guess your praise and support is much needed, dithered as I am by doubts whether I am an anachronism of some sort, writing a defunct language and obdurately using the punctuation of an age that has gone by. I still remain wedded to the old-fashioned style of writing and follow its rules on this blog.

I am from the old-school class of journalism and I guess (in my humble opinion, and all that) this is what sets me apart, or, rather makes me appear different from the new crop of journalists and writers:

I still feel that prepositions, conjunctions and articles in titles should not be capitalized. India's top newspapers capitalized all words in caption and there are others who use lower case for all words. Francis J. deSouza, a fine writer and journalist, and from whom I picked up the basics of editing would turn in his grave if he saw such rampant violation of the rules he held dear.

I am of the view that newspaper text should use drop capitals, hanging indent and first line indents (except in the beginning of articles where a few words are capitalized), which no Indian newspaper uses in this day and age, except, perhaps New York Times. These styles impart variety and don't fatigue the eye while reading. These days the graphics have take over from typeface and the intellectual content is missed for the visual eye-candy. Sad.

I believe quotes within double quotes (") should be single quotes (') and not double quotes, a rule that is rampantly violated in India.

So many more which I will re-visit when I have more time. Right now, I have to return to the novel in progress, I am editing a crucial chapter. Adios.

No comments: