15 de mayo de 2005

The language based on sport and the Escuela Oficial de Periodismo

Por Jesús Castañón Rodríguez

The language based on sport and the Escuela Oficial de Periodismo

Jesús Castañón Rodríguez

The editorial staff, with reflections on the language based on sport, was present in the 20th cenury in Spain in the Escuela Oficial de Periodismo (Official School of Journalism), which developed its activity between the 17th of November, 1941 and 1971 in Madrid, in Zurbano Street.

Its view starts from the requirement of a singular practice for the way of arranging the elements of composition and created three big centres of interest for the linguistic aspects: style and theme, grammar and lexicon.

Style and theme
Style and theme consisted of description (with the direct observation, the pictorial, topographic and cinematographic description, the descriptive style); narration (with its types: dialogue, action and atmosphere), journalistic narration (exposing, cyclic method, what is expected and what is not, accident and crime, biography); story, with commentaries about its definition, narrative drama, critical situation, theme, the predominance of the action, the atmosphere or characters, the length, the narrator and the women’s audience.

The care of language based on aspects was centred on the use of the gerund, the periphrastic conjugation, the which/what, whose relatives and pronouns him/her or it.

The lexical aspects consist of four sections of information. Firstly, the commentary of faults and excesses which have the solecisms and he reiteration of the verb «to do/make».

Secondly, the use of the figurative and non-figurative language acquire a special interest when its metaphors are used to talk about the world in an emotional way, to communicate moods instead of expressing ideas and to seduce instead of convincing.

Thirdly, the risk of using metaphors with excessive reiteration is warned since they may become commonplaces or clichés which are frequent in fields where there’s much passion, like in sport.

And fourth, the treatment of barbarisms and neologisms. The Escuela Oficial de Periodismo (Official School of Journalism) is interested in what it calls «invasion de vocablos espurios» («invasion of spurious words»). It has an attitude which expresses the wish of not having neither a purist worry nor total unconcern when it’s affirmed that journalism cannot be pretext for the acceptance as a total of a vocabulary full of barbarisms or useless neologisms, to favour the Castilian word exchange very wide used for exotic words or for the purist searching. And at the same time, how the journalist must have a knowledge of his/her own resources.

It asks for a careful vigilance of the language and also a clever reaction of the journalists establishing criteria in order not to impoverish it. It shows preference for replacing the foreign word by the full-used Spanish one if it existed; it considers that Gallicisms, Anglicisms and Italianisms are the most frequent together with German, Portuguese words and Latinisms; it comments the use of double barbarisms where two foreign words are used instead of the correct voice and some neologisms; it suggests the morphological adaptation of the new word and the use of inverted commas for neologisms or uses of terms in a humorous way…It is also very critical with the use of what it calls fourth and fifth barbarisms which maintains nouns by means of foeign spellings or uses Spanish words with a foreign-looking meaning.

To sum up, the Escuela Oficial de Periodismo (the Official School of Journalism) gave continuity to the specialized journalism which started El Debate and for the language it introduced a new attitude before the foreign words, criteria to deal with neologisms and reflections on the use of the figurative language when stories with emotion have to be made.

GONZÁLEZ RUIZ, Nicolás: «Redacción periodística», en Enciclopedia del periodismo. Barcelona: Noguer, 1966, págs. 101-170.