Style in Selected Headlines of Niyi Osundare’s Columns in Newswatch

Published: June 2019

Authors:  Isaiah Aluya, Beatrice Kofoworola & Terver Jime

About Authors: Department of English. Department of Mass Communication Bingham University, Karu. Nasarawa State, Nigeria

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This study examined 86 headlines in the columns of Newswatch by Niyi Osundare which had been relatively underexplored. The aim was to determine their functional significance based on their peculiar stylistics choices. The study adopted the qualitative method and subjected the selected headlines to general stylistic approach. The findings revealed that the headlines exploit alliterations to reinforce the main points raised. Two types of nominal groups featured prominently in the headlines: the modifier plus head mh and head plus qualifier hq types. They were employed for effective description so as to maximize information and minimize space. Neologism foregrounded the headlines in order to underscore the import of the news story. Allusion provided clues about the contents of the news story. Whereas colloquialism indicated informality between Osundare and readers; through lexical ambiguity, the headlines induced readers in order to make them hold the different interpretations in mind as well as give the interpretations equal serious meaningful value. Idioms served for rhetorical effects and to provide imagery in order to enhance the message communicated. Deliberate misspelling of word was pressed into satirical function. These stylistic devices, undoubtedly, formed the selections which Osundare makes from the resources of language within the genre of newspaper reporting; and they functioned collaboratively to make the selected headlines informative, indicative and persuasive. 

Keywords: Columns, Headlines, Newswatch, Style