i newspaper, September 13, 2017

(63 words) There are many fascinating things to say about the Portuguese man o’ war (not man of war, and the plural is the same as the singular), but none of them appears here. Obviously a beach is on the coast. You never start a story with a place name, unless you want readers with no connection to it to move straight on. How do we know the number was unprecedented? You could only say that if they had been counted on a previous occasion and yesterday. This is how I would do it:

Swimmers were ordered from the beach at Perranporth, Cornwall, yesterday after a large number of Portuguese man o’ war washed up. Though they look like jellyfish, they are actually colonies of individuals with different functions working as one, and have tentacles up to 100ft long which deliver a painful, though not lethal, sting. The beach was reopened after the creatures were removed. (62 words)

Is it not worth spending five minutes on Google to produce a story which readers might talk about?



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