Monthly Archives: July 2016

Journalese of the Day: Quietly

When a reporter writes that something was done “quietly,” it means he or she missed the story. (“The lazy bums didn’t send out a press release!”) Today’s illustration is in the July 31, 2016, Boston Sunday Globe’s p.1 top story, a real shocker, with the headline “Insiders turn to lobbying careers — After helping politicians win, consultants seek access for corporate clients. ” The story leads with Governor Charlie Baker’s… Read Article →

Journalese of the Day: Sweden and Norway

Headline of the day goes to Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden’s second largest morning daily, for this modest one over a story of the biannual Environmental Performance Index : “Sverige med i miljötoppen – Norge inte ens nära” And for you who don’t know Swedish: “Sweden among the top in environment — Norway not even close.” -Robert Skole

Journalese of the day: Corrections

File under Corrections of the Day, from always alert pal Joe G: “The New York Times noted today (July 26, 2016) that a review of a movie got the name wrong. ‘The Childhood of the Leader,’ NOT ‘The Childhood of Shadows.’ Then: ‘The review also misstated the given name of a former president of the United States. He was Woodrow Wilson, not Woodward.’ Oh, well, give the reviewer an F… Read Article →

Journalese of the Day: End of an era

Anything big that shuts down, goes broke, is sold or makes a move, means an era ends, even though most people couldn’t care less. The Boston Herald on July 15, 2016, gave the honor to Yahoo, with this headline: “Verizon buys Yahoo for $4.83B, marking an end of an era -Robert Skole

Wall Street Journal’s mystery mathematics

I received a “Professional Courtesy Rate” subscription offer from the Wall Street Journal, with the letter’s top lines reading: “Summer Sale — Save Over 65% — 6 months for $99 –You save more than $640.” The “saving” is compared to the “Newsstand price of $964 for 1 year.” I am offered “intro” prices of $99 for 6 months or $197.94 for 1 year. Well, for a newspaper boasting that it… Read Article →

Journalese of the Day: Adjective, adverb inflation in Deflategate latest.

Here’s the lede, inflated with descriptives, in the Boston Globe page one top story July 14, 2016: “Patriots great Tom Brady suffered a resounding defeat in a federal appeals court Wednesday, leaving him with the daunting option of a last-ditch plea to the Supreme Court in his arduous quest to clear his name.” -Robert Skole

Journalese of the Day: Crime reporting cliché rule violated.

Boston Globe reporters have violated the First Rule of Crime Reporting Clichés: All mobsters must have a nickname. In a July 9, 2016, story about the federal court appearance of a Rhode Island man accused of “thwarting” an investigation into a 1993 “slaying”, the man is identified as Robert P. DeLuca, “the onetime New England Mafia capo”. He is given no nick-name. Nor is one given to “reputed mob associate,”… Read Article →

Journalese of the Day: Amazing! Prediction right on the button!

It’s now official: State Police say that 500,000 people lined the Charles River for the annual Boston Pops Orchestra July 4 concert and fireworks. What’s amazing is that organizers on days before estimated that the very same 500,000 would show up. According to a story in the Boston Globe, July 6, 2016, State Police say 350,000 (that’s half the population of Boston) were on the Esplanade on the Boston side of… Read Article →

Journalese of the Day: Oh, you mean that Barack Obama.

Newspapers have stylebooks that reporters and editors sometime follow. The Boston Globe’s stylebook calls for all writers of op-ed pieces be identified. Thus, an op-ed today by Barack Obama, about America’s medical care, has the following ID at the end: “Barack Obama is the president of the United States.” -Robert Skole