By Shreeprakash Sharma
The joy of seeing one’s name printed underneath or above some articles, write-ups, stories or contributions on the pages of newspapers, magazines, periodicals and other print media is inexplicably priceless the worth of which cannot be weighed in terms of money, especially when it is the maiden printed feat of a writer. The journey of seeing one’s name published for some write-ups in print media is easier said than actually done. It calls for a pretty much disciplined life style and consistent knowledge-gaining-pursuit.
However, the saga of the earnest desire to see one’s name in print, usually considered as a herculean task, has its sure-shot beginning in writing letters to the editor, a must-appear column of all the print materials. It is the first step to reach out to the zenith of the beginning of beautiful career of a professional writer. The column, ‘Letters to the Editor’, most-awaited by the editor, has a set of rules without following which strictly one cannot get his or her letter published.
Let us study the following essential rules to get our letters published –
- They say that the most difficult part of a letter is its beginning. So goes the adage, “Begin at the beginning of what you have to say, go on until you have finished and then stop.” Ensure that the first sentence of your letter must evoke emotion and provoke the editor into reading and publishing it.
- Make correct usage of punctuation. It will give clarity, variety and interest to the letter.
- Keep your letter brief and clear. You must be direct in your approach to push forward what you want to say. For this always keep your letter relevant.
- The writer must stick to the subject of the letter. What you want to say must be said in the first sentence and ‘why’ must be covered in the following sentence.
- If possible give a light and humorous touch to the letter. Don’t be always serious in your statement. Insert some amusing phrases or idioms or quotations to make the editor laugh while going through your letter.
- Do not write the letter to praise the editor in the hope of getting it published. If you must praise, it must be sincere and not subservient. 7. Email or address your letter correctly. Address the editor by his or name, if you know.
- Letters must be sober and rational. What a writer must avoid is bragging himself, exaggerating the editor crew and whinging while protesting or complaining against something.
- Bring some specialized knowledge and rarely available information to the letter to make it more conspicuous.
WORDS MATTER MOST
Can you choose the closest meaning of the words given in the capital letters?
(A) to waste money (B) to linger (C) to fasten
(A). boldness, audacity (B) prosperity (C) regularity
(A) firmness (B) invincibility (C) aggression
(A) reserved (B) behaving like a slave, servile (C) unconscious
(A) dramatic (B) concise(C) sleep producing, having a sedative effect
(A) occurring irregularly (B) enigmatic, mysterious (C) accidental
Answers: 1.B 2. A 3. A 4. B 5. C 6.B
Choose the word most nearly opposite to the words given in the capital letters
(A) to conceal (B) to repeat (C) to deserve
(A). intentional (B) pretended, fake (C) rampaging
(A) remoteness (B) prophecy (C) indifference
(A) obvious, open (B) substitute (C) suspicious
(A) mild (B) frequent (C) truthful
(A) lose (B) moribund (C) planned
Answers 1.A 2. B .3.A 4. A 5. A 6.A
To keep a firm hold on – to have a strong control over something (The parents need to keep a firm hold on their children to make them lead a disciplined and successful life.)
To keep one’s finger on the pulse of – to keep abreast of, to have an up-to-date knowledge of something (A student must keep his finger on the pulse of global affairs to succeed in the various competitive examinations.)
To keep on its feet – to prevent something from collapsing financially (The stakeholders are doing their best to keep their company on its feet.)
To keep track of – to closely watch the progress or status of something (The engineers are busy keeping track of the development projects across the city capital.)
To keep off – to refrain from using something (The family doctor has told him to keep off fried and oily foods to get his weight down.)
Glad rags – one’s best clothes to be worn on some special occasions (The family members in their glad rags made the party very scintillating.)
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones- used to warn people against criticising others when they themselves are vulnerable to be criticised (The tendency of leaders of a political party to spoil the image of other leaders must serve as a message which is concealed in the adage ‘People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.’
The gloves are off – the fierce fighting is about to start (With the announcement of elections dates in the state, the gloves are off.)
What gives? – What is the matter? What is happening? (All the people in the market were shouting for help- what gives?)
To gnash one’s teeth – to be angry and very disappointed (The children messed up the entire plans of the family to go on the tour next week. The parents were gnashing their teeth.)
WORDS USUALLY USED IN MEDIA
A thumbs down – A discouragement (The world leaders have given a thumbs down to the idea of reducing global poverty at the cost of faster depletion of natural resources.)
Awash with – having too many things or people (The world is awash with people who believe that terrorism breeds in destitution.)
Messianic – a person who is messianic wants to bring about big socio-political change (The common masses were not agreed with messianic ideology of the new- floated political party.)
Surgical – done very carefully and at the exact affected place (The recent surgical strikes of the government have been lavishly applauded by the common masses.)
Media hype – a lot of discussions in media (Inspite of the media hype, the common masses rejected the opposition parties’ move to start peace talks with Pakistan.)
(Author is Principal Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mamit Mizoram and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)