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When watching US television news or reading US news articles there is this affectation where instead of saying:

"Spotify music-streaming service to launch in U.S. on Thursday" (CNN)

or

"Leading credit rating agency Moody's said on Wednesday that the U.S. government's impeccable credit..." (Fox)

The on preposition is missed out.

Is this just a peculiar US journalistic "news speak" shortcut or do American non-journalist writers write this way too?

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3 Answers 3

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This is a common elision in US English, yes, though very rarely in British English. It also seems to be done a lot by French speakers who have learnt English, because this elision is always done in French (or rather, it's always been the case in French that one refers to a day simply by saying the day, rather than on the day); I see this done a lot on the France 24 news channel, even by those newsreaders with a British accent.

It is also commonly done with months, eg.

The festival is happening June, and is going to be very popular.

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  • Yes, the France 24 news channel is also where I've heard this and it's quite odd to hear a British and especially one of their Scottish news readers speak that way (being a Scot).
    – Kev
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 9:31
  • +1 for dropping redundant words. It seems like some people just like hearing the sound of their own voice, and will drag it out using any means. Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 16:03
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    I don't support the dropping of 'on' here. :-)
    – Jez
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 16:04
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    This is absolutely unremarkable in American English. I don't even perceive on Tuesday as being slightly more formal than Tuesday. Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 10:55
  • -1 Please do some research, you can refine the answer then.
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 6:39
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I'm not an expert, but Practical English Usage by Michael Swan has the following

Section 214.3

In an informal style, we sometimes leave out on before the names of the days of the week.

Why don't you come for a drink (on) Monday evening?

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  • Hello, G. Peter Shor wrote 12 years ago 'This is absolutely unremarkable in American English.' Implying formal as well as informal usage in the US. Is Swan (a) kept up to date? (b) UK-usage orientated? (I myself find the dropping of the preposition jarring in most cases; I've lived in Gtr Manchester all my life to date.) Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 16:02
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    @EdwinAshworth The Swan book is 4ed, published in 2017. The book talks about both American and British English.
    – Gqqnbig
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 1:27
  • Thanks. For once, I'm in the position where I consider an unsupported answer (eg Jez's, 'This is a common elision in US English, yes, though very rarely in British English.') to be more accurate than one with support from a reasonable authority. One can find reasonably formal examples from reasonable sources (eg 'His body was found in his New York City apartment by a member of his staff who went there Thursday after he failed to keep a luncheon appointment.' [LA Times]) Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 12:59
  • ... 'Instead of going on to the Capitol on Saturday to sign last-minute bills, he went there Friday ....' [TIME; June 1936] // 'Robert Vicosa, 41, a former Baltimore County police officer and fugitive wanted for felonies in both states, was found Thursday with his two daughters ... police said no one was there and a glass door had been smashed when they went there Monday afternoon.' [Detroit News] Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 13:05
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It's a specific feature of journalists' English, (called news writing by those involved and journalese by everybody else). Headlines (whether in newspapers or Internet sites) need to fit a meaning into as few words as possible, and if, by being confusing, they encourage readers to look at the body of the article, so much the better. Those journalists who move on to TV don't need this trope, but presumably either are used to it or think it sounds professional.

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    No, it's American English. It's not just journalists who do it here. Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 10:56

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