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January 16, 1957 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1957-01-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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WADER'S DIGEST EDITOR:
Ferguson Discusses Use of Language

By DIANE LaBAKAS

"One word, if used correctly, isI
worth 10,000 pictures," Charles W.
Ferguson, senior editor of the
Reader's Digest, said yesterday in
Rackham Amphitheater.
Stressing the neglect of the Eng-
lish language in journaiism, Fer-
guson remarked that the excessive
use of pictures, combined with
oversimplification of the English
language, has prevented the{
growth of our language.
"The present stress on timeliness
has also militated against the
perspective use of the language,"
Ferguson declared. "Journalists:
seem to feel it is more important
to get things out on the wire in-
stead of trying to write their arti-
cles right."
Word Examination
By examining the history and'
origin of words, Ferguson said a
person can acquirer a feeling for
the language and help lower the
high mortality rate of our most
expressive words. He cited the
dictionary as the best instrument
for acquiring this feeling.
The growth of abstractions is
another element he cited as con-
tributing to the i decline of the
English language. "This growth is
to be deplored," he asserted.
"There are so many things that
can be explained with convenient
phrases."
Ferguson advocated more study
of the vocabularies of specialized
fields to give our language more
expressive words.
"There are many words in the
specialized vocabularies of medi-
cine, farming, railroads, journal-
ism, and engineering that jour-
nalists can bring out and give
applicability," he declared.
Fear of Criticism-
One of the' things journalists
suffer from is the fear of being
criticized in their uses of words,

Social Workers To Meet
FiveRobert French. They will all have
School of Social Work staff willRoetFnc.Tywilalhv
attend the annual program meet- active parts in the conference
ing of the Council on Social Work coneidet n tce to
consider the current educational
Education which will be held fromsg
Jan. 23-26 in Los Angeles.i problems confronting the profes-
T sion and ways in which the stand-
Fedele Fauri, Prof. Eleanor G. ards, content and methods of pro-
Crankfield, Prof. Wilbur J. Cohen, fessional education can be im-
Prof. Ralph C. Fletcher, and proved.
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-Daily-Norm Jacobs
CHARLES W. FERGUSON-The senior editor of the Reader's
Digest noted that "one word is worth 10,000 pictures."

'" "1

$

Cz 5

Ferguson asserted. Their strong
rebellion against the, growth of
grammar stems from the constant
grammatical criticisms by gram-
marians, he explained.
"However, they are now begin-
ning to see the value of grammar.
The blindness which has hindered
making grammar an effective use
of speech is gradually being
erased."
Ferguson advocated use of the
active verb whenever possible.
"Language is still the best means
of conveying ideas," he said. "It
should be done well."

i

Ferguson has been on the staff
of the Reader's Digest for 20
years. While on leave in 1946, he
served as cultural relations officer
at the United States Embassy in
London. He has written four books
and is working on a fifth.
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