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assigned to a beat

Discussion in 'English Only' started by evergreenhomeland, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Hello everyone:

    How to understand "assigned to a beat" in following sentences? experience a trouble?

    Well,I think you get the point about bad nouns. (Don’t worry—in aminute I’ll tell you about good nouns.) Ibring this up today because most of you will soon be assigned to abeat in one of New York’s neighborhoods. Ourcity has been greatly enriched in recent years by immigrants fromevery corner of the world, but their arrival has also brought amultitude of complex urban problems.

    The source is the essay "Writing English as a Second Language" by William Zinsser from The American Scholar.
    Thanks in advance
  2. MilkyBarKid Senior Member

    British English
    A 'beat' is an area of a city allocated to a police officer to patrol.
  3. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Oh, Can you give me a reference link?
  4. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    You don't need one. Look in the WR dictionary via the link at the top of this page. It's definition 4 of beat as a noun.

    This term is used for the area covered by a reporter as well as a police officer. Since Zinsser used it in a talk to journalism students, I'm fairly sure that was the meaning he intended.
  5. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

  6. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    You don't believe the dictionary?
  7. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    No, I want detailed info about the word.
    I had been assigned to a beat.(Even that country does not use the word)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  8. Parla Member Emeritus

    New York City
    English - US
    Even what country doesn't use the word?
  9. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Thanks for your notice.

    In Japan, new comers must register for a residential card in a local Urban office. Officers there does not explicitly mention some sort of "a beat".
  10. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    I hope you are clear, EGH, that Zinsser is saying that these young journalists will be working in a part of the city, just as policemen as assigned to particular parts of a city (their beats). He's using a metaphor, likening the journalists to policemen.

    They will encounter bad nouns, just as policemen encounter bad people.
  11. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Oh my god, I am completely wrong.

    Now I got it.
  12. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    So they got such an assignment to write various articles about the area he or she is responsible for?
  13. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    The suggestion is that they will be assigned initially to a newspaper or agency which investigates the affairs of a particular locality.

    This has not happened yet (got is the simple past of to get).
  14. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Thank you so much for your kind explanation.

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