The gloss is an opinion-forming and journalistic text and is similar in construction and style to the commentary. The glosses, as well as readers’ letters, film criticism, review, book discussion, diagnosis or the expert opinion as a judicial text type. This means that certain topics are evaluated and assessed. Often news is satirical.
Origin of the word
The word can be derived from ancient Greek (γλῶσσα ~ glóssa) and translated into approximately with tongue or language. This translation refers to the most important features of the gloss, which is a text-point characterized by a high degree of linguistic skill and elegant formulations, which is sarcastic and also very ironic (→ stylistic means).
Note: In addition to the journalistic text, Glosse also describes the explanation of a word and a Spanish poem form imitated in German Romanticism. In the following we would like to introduce you to the features of the gloss and then to the further meanings of the word.
Characteristics of the gloss
Characteristics of journalistic texts
The gloss is a text-forming text. She criticizes (mostly topical) themes and packs these original, funny and funny. However, it is intended to stimulate reflection
The text is usually short and appears in newspapers, magazines or other journalistic publications, which can, of course, also be available online, but in any case in text form and delimited by the article.
It is characterized by its brevity and often takes only a few lines or sections. The scope could be described as a kind of epigrammatic brevity (epigram: short, sense, or even mocking, written mostly in distals).
The gloss is related to the comment. It differs from this, however, in that it is similar to thematic, but is characterized by a high degree of language skills (partly also language joke) and expertise.
Thus the gloss seems like a simple text that is easy to read, but is determined by numerous stylistic means and requires a high knowledge of the author. The most common stylistic devices are irony, sarcasm, hyperbole and a high linguistic elegance.
The gloss is satirical, brittle, ironic, funny, cynical, clear, and comprehensible, while at the same time unifying all these features at the same time. As a rule, it takes up a theme, overpins it, and then takes it down journalistically.
It is considered to be one of the most difficult journalistic texts since it can be very complicated to cope with the balancing act between sarcasm and simplicity without slipping into the ridiculous. Emil Dovifat, a journalist, described the text as follows: “The gloss is the shortest and therefore the most severe journalistic style.”
Note: Most newspapers have their own authors’ team, who make the glosses. In the newspaper, this part is referred to as the local tip. There are also comments.
Difference: gloss, message, comment, and column
There are some journalistic texts that resemble the gloss and are difficult to distinguish. Therefore, we would like to introduce similar types of text and emphasize the essential features in order to make a clear distinction possible.
The message should be objective, current, and contains information. Messages answer the W questions and may in no case include the personal opinion of the author. They are short and straightforward and should clearly state what is at stake. The most important thing is at the beginning.
The commentary is a clear-headed expression. Messages are annotated in the commentary, that is, they are linguistically evaluated, with an opinion always being included. The comment requires its own opinion, but also a conclusion, ie a conclusion, and is clearly formulated. Reviews and reviews are, for example, special forms of the commentary.
The column is certainly a special form of the commentary. Columns appear regularly and are mostly authored by the same author. Here, the author tells a story that is often written in the I-form. The column is an opinion, but does not have to refer to a message.
The gloss is essentially different from the fact that on the one hand the subject of the event is ironic and sarcastic, and can convey an opinion in any case. On the other hand, it is stylistically high-quality and is characterized by a high level of expertise with regard to the glossed article.
Gloss as an explanation of a word
In antiquity, especially in Greek, Glosse was a term for a foreign word. The terms glossa, glossema and glossematum also stood for this. Quintilian, a Roman rhetorician, explained this as follows: “Glossemata, that is, few common words.” The word therefore means a difficult word and is later a term for the definition of words itself.
Such glosses were often sketched at the edge of a text, explaining difficult words. Sometimes Latin terms were translated at the margins. This separates the ancient gloss from the scholie, which is an explanation for a linguistically or contentally difficult text passage. Later the so-called glossaries, that is, collections of complicated words, emerged.
This tradition continues in Latin- or Greek lessons. Here, individual words whose meaning was difficult were written to the edge of the text. Either according to an alphabetical order or as they appeared in the text. Such indications are also available today in foreign language teaching.
Note: This form is often referred to as a marginal, and is now relevant mainly in the linguistic debate with the Bible, other religious writings, or scientific texts to provide essential information on the understanding of the text.
Gloss as a poem form
Furthermore, Glossen are a term for a Spanish poem form of the 15th – 17th century. This glosa is often of philosophical or erotic content. Their verse form is called Dezime. The gloss has four verses, each ten verses following the rhyme scheme of the tenths.
What is special is that the gloss is preceded by a motto, a short, concise leitmotiv, which is picked up in the following verses in a line-by-line manner. This means that the closing lines of the sections are the motto itself. The poem is a paraphrase (transcription) of the motto.
The most important thing in the overview
The term glosses has in principle three different meanings. He describes a journalistic text, an explanatory edge notation and a poem form.
In language usage, however, it is mostly the journalistic text. This is brief, refers to a current event, is speech-like and characterized by linguistic elegance, whereby irony and hyperbola are characteristic.
Examples are found in most newspapers. Gables are usually found in the local tip and are clearly delineated by other articles. On the Internet there are examples on Spiegel-Online or the Wiener-Zeitung, offline in the strip of the Süddeutsche Zeitung.