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    #1

    "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Hello,

    the following sentence appears in this news story.

    Wolfman, who broke three leg bones in the wreck, was collared because NYPD officers noticed he was drunk, police sources said.

    I checked the meaning of 'collared'. According to the Free Dictionary it is:

    Slanga. To seize or detain.
    b. To arrest (a criminal, for example).
    Is it acceptable to use slang in newspapers? I think newspapers carry formal language.

    Thank you

  1. Munch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Newspaper writing is not always formal and styles vary from paper to paper, depending on the target audience. Using a word like “collared” is not uncommon – newspaper style is not exactly the same as any other style of written English. From Wikipedia:

    Terms and structure

    Journalistic prose is explicit and precise, and tries not to rely on jargon. As a rule, journalists will not use a long word when a short one will do. They use subject-verb-object construction and vivid, active prose (see Grammar). They offer anecdotes, examples and metaphors, and they rarely depend on colorless generalizations or abstract ideas. News writers try to avoid using the same word more than once in a paragraph (sometimes called an "echo" or "word mirror").
    Note that this article appeared in a “tabloid” newspaper. Tabloid writing can be quite informal, and it is often over-dramatic. I suspect in this case, the journalist used the word because it is police jargon. He also used the slang term, "busted" and refers to the police as "cops". I would be somewhat surprised to see that language used in this sense in a non-tabloid paper - The New York Times, for example.

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    #3

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Munch, I understand now. I did not know that it is a tabloid and that language differs between tabloid and non-tabloid. Thank you.

    For others like me who may not know "tabloid", I looked it up and found some interesting history of the word. From Wikipedia:

    The word "Tabloid" comes from the name given by the London based pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Co. to the compressed tablets they marketed as "Tabloid" pills in the late 1880s [1]. Prior to compressed tablets, medicine was usually taken in bulkier powder form. While Burroughs Wellcome & Co. were not the first to derive the technology to make compressed tablets, they were the most successful at marketing them, hence the popularity of the term 'tabloid' in popular culture. The connotation of tabloid was soon applied to other small items and to the "compressed" journalism that condensed stories into a simplified, easily-absorbed format. The label of "tabloid journalism" (1901) preceded the smaller sheet newspapers that contained it (1918).

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    #4

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    Note that this article appeared in a “tabloid” newspaper. Tabloid writing can be quite informal, and it is often over-dramatic. I suspect in this case, the journalist used the word because it is police jargon. He also used the slang term, "busted" and refers to the police as "cops". I would be somewhat surprised to see that language used in this sense in a non-tabloid paper - The New York Times, for example.
    Munch is correct. You might read this story in The NY Times, but as a brief, strictly factual news story, without some of the "human interest" items such as "she was born in Korea and was adopted...." I'd like to add something to Olympian's post from Wikipedia. As well as the size of the paper and the "compressed" stories, "tabloid" has become almost synonymous with sensationalism, as in stories of rape, murder, boy with two heads, etc.

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    #5

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Munch, I understand now. I did not know that it is a tabloid and that language differs between tabloid and non-tabloid. Thank you.

    For others like me who may not know "tabloid", I looked it up and found some interesting history of the word. From Wikipedia:
    The word "Tabloid" comes from the name given by the London based pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Co. to the compressed tablets they marketed as "Tabloid" pills in the late 1880s [1]. Prior to compressed tablets, medicine was usually taken in bulkier powder form. While Burroughs Wellcome & Co. were not the first to derive the technology to make compressed tablets, they were the most successful at marketing them, hence the popularity of the term 'tabloid' in popular culture. The connotation of tabloid was soon applied to other small items and to the "compressed" journalism that condensed stories into a simplified, easily-absorbed format. The label of "tabloid journalism" (1901) preceded the smaller sheet newspapers that contained it (1918).
    ***** NOT A TEACHER / ONLY MY OPINION


    Olympian,


    Because I love newspapers, may I respectfully suggest that nowadays

    we have to be careful about the word "tabloid."

    I understand that most of the "serious" newspapers in London

    are now in tabloid size -- but not in tabloid content. I understand

    that people were horrified when The Times went from broadsheet

    (the "regular" size) to tabloid size. Now only the Daily Telegraph still

    comes out as a broadsheet, while The Guardian is somewhere in between

    -- not broadsheet and not tabloid. Most American newspapers have so far

    resisted the change to tabloid size. Maybe because the word

    "tabloid" reminds one of an irresponsible newspaper that deals in

    sensationalism. I guess that many people would have a heart attack

    if The New York Times ever changed to tabloid size.

    Thank you

    P. S. My local paper (one of the top 5 in the United States) has

    not changed to tabloid size, but it has made its pages narrower in

    order to save newsprint.

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    #6

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Depending on the newspaper, the article topic, and the audience, an article's tone might be formal, casual, or somewhere in between.

    For example, "cop" is slang for a police officer. But it is not SO casual that a newspaper would never use it.

    In the US, "tabloid" implies sensationalism - reports on celebrity divorces, alien abductions, etc. Compression or shortening has little to do with it, in my mind.

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    #7

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    For those still wondering about collared, it's derived from the similarly colloquial expression to have one's collar felt - meaning to be detained/arrested by the police.

    Rover

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    #8

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    - Imagine a policeman grabbing someone by the collar wehn s/he tries to run away.

    b
    PS - back at the 'tabloid' discussion. The Guardian's 'slightly larger than tabloid' size is called (by them at least, most people aren't concerned) 'the "Berliner" format'. I have always imagined that this is because the Berliner Zeitung uses or used it - I don't know though.

    Serious newspapers prefer to call the tabloid size 'compact' when they adopt it.

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    #9

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Munch is correct. You might read this story in The NY Times, but as a brief, strictly factual news story, without some of the "human interest" items such as "she was born in Korea and was adopted...." I'd like to add something to Olympian's post from Wikipedia. As well as the size of the paper and the "compressed" stories, "tabloid" has become almost synonymous with sensationalism, as in stories of rape, murder, boy with two heads, etc.
    Thank you riquecohen.

    In the regular newspapers in India sometimes they give information such as vehicle number, passport number and even mobile phone numbers of people arrested. I don't really understand the purpose of this much detail in the reports, but after reading your response, it must be due to "human interest". :)

    Talking about stories about boy with two heads, what are those TV channels or shows called that broadcast this type of sensational material? Is there a name for it? There is one channel here that shows the wide variety of methods used by quacks to cure/heal people. They showed one guy using an iron folding chair to hit people to "cure" them and a crowd of superstitious believers. Although the purpose of such shows may be to expose the exploitation of innocent or desperate believers, most likely there is an element of sensationalism as well.

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    #10

    Re: "collared" - slang in newspaper article

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    For those still wondering about collared, it's derived from the similarly colloquial expression to have one's collar felt - meaning to be detained/arrested by the police.

    Rover
    Thank you for teaching another expression (to have one's collar felt). I am assuming this is in British English.

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