Journalism 101: Omit Verbal Deadwood


“EFFECTIVE WRITING IS CONCISE. Cut out the unnecessary words. Every word should tell. There is no reason to call a spade ‘a long handled instrument for turning earth in the garden.’

“Here are some examples of verbal deadwood drawn from Asian newspapers and inter-office memoranda ...



(Editor's note: This is the second contribution to of University of the Philippines' MARK ANTHONY ASINAS. You, too, can have your articles published here. Send them through e-mail to

... Before entering college, I wasn't really sure of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! It seemed that the element of surprise was so much into me, chasing me like the shadows in my past that I didn't want to uncover again. It was dark, I was missing something, and it was really hard in my part-- I guess, my life was as dull as it is without having dreams, plans, and the will to accomplish something that my heart and my personality have long sought to be with as a comfort zone. I realized, "Maybe, this wasn't for me after all..."



WHENEVER THE MONTH OF JUNE comes, we Filipinos celebrate the Philippine Independence Day. Amid the events surrounding this memorable occasion, have we asked ourselves what really is the so-called Philippine Independence?


Journalism 101: Editing Checklist and 5 Proofreading Tips

1. Does my punctuation follow conventional usage?
2. Should I check the spelling of any of my words?
3. Does every verb agree with its subject, especially in sentences where subjects and verbs are widely separated?
4. Are the tenses of my verbs consistent with the way I want to use them?
5. Does every pronoun (particularly it, this, they, he, she) clearly refer to a noun or another pronoun?


Does our existence have meaning without God?

... As admitted by a well-known atheist French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, atheism necessarily implies that “All existing things are born for no reason, continue through weakness and die by accident… It is meaningless that we are born; it is meaningless that we die” ...


Reconciling God and Sufferings

... whereas other religions such as Eastern traditions typically put sorrow, pain, and suffering in the category of illusion—that “evil and suffering are real only as long as the ego believes them to be real” and that “they will fade away as one gains enlightenment about the illusory nature of the phenomenal world,” Christianity, on the other hand, bluntly confronts these profound issues from the very first pages of Genesis ...


The UFC and our own Mixed Martial Arts fight

… the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) continues its swift ascent from being “an almost unknown MMA show” to having graced the covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine, its fighters like Randy “the Natural” Couture and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson having played key roles in some Hollywood big films. No wonder therefore that today, not a few youth around the world train to fight in MMA competitions. But unaware as many of us God’s children may be, we too are inevitably engaged in a brutal form of fight …


The Theistic Ethics and the cut-flower thesis


“... The attempts to found a morality apart from religion are like the attempts of children who, wishing to transplant a flower that pleases them, pluck it from the roots that seem to them unpleasing and superfluous, and stick it rootless into the ground. Without religion there can be no real, sincere morality, just as without roots there can be no real flower... ”


Non-theists' moral foundations: An analysis

“... Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that the atoms inside my skull happen for physical or chemical reasons to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a bye-product, the sensation I call thought. But if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It is like upsetting a milk-jug and hoping that the way the splash arranges itself will give you a map of London... "


Why Pacquiao should learn defense or be knocked out by Mayweather


Boxing is basically a self-defense discipline. So though being superb in offense is an advantage in this sports, seriously training how to defend oneself is indispensable to win over an equally skilled opponent. Watch this funny video of an MMA fight to understand this point. Happy viewing!


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