Monthly Archives: November 2016

Stop the presses!

Sometimes you wonder where headline writers have been for the past couple years. Here’s an example of a hot news headline over the Boston Globe page one top story, Nov. 29, 2016. Yes, that’s right, Nov. 29, 2016: “Trump’s truths often fail the test — US credibility at stake, experts say.” The story’s news peg was Trump’s accusation, without any proof, that widespread voter fraud cost him from getting a… Read Article →

Tension, sense of unease, raising fears, ground zero and a flood of journalese

Nothing like a battle between American Indians and oil billionaires to set off a flood of journalese. Take this example, in the Boston Globe, Nov. 28, 2016, page one story about protests that the Dakota Access Pipeline will threaten water supplies and cross sacred grounds near the Standing Rock Reservation. “As temperatures continue to dip and tension between protesters and local law enforcement intensifies, a sense of unease has fallen… Read Article →

The hook imperative

There’s a journalese law that requires headline writers to use the word “hook” for any story involving fishing or the seafood industry. A great example of this was headline in the  Boston Herald, Nov. 20, 2016:  “Millennium hooks Stavis Seafoods for planned marine park facility.” If the deal gets screwed up, it will flounder over tangled lines. And if the deal fails, it will be deep-sixed, and the developer will cast… Read Article →

When a tap is a knock-out.

One of the handiest journalese verbs is “tap”, when it means choose, select, award or honor and not when it means to touch or knock or hit or tap-dance. It’s one of those words that you’d never use in a conversation, such as, “I tapped Joe to be in charge of the Martinis.” Great example was in the Boston Globe, Nov. 6, 2016, with this headline:  “MIT tapped to redevelop Volpe… Read Article →

He’s a real estate mogul

In case you didn’t know, Donald Trump is a real estate mogul. In keeping with a Journalese rule that says a reporter can’t use a guy’s name twice in a sentence, and no less three times, New reports this about a Trump complaint: “On Sunday, the real-estate mogul fired off a series of tweets slamming the New York Times for its coverage of Trump’s supporters, mocking an open-letter publisher… Read Article →

Appears, or does it?

“Appears” is one of the best words for a reporter when he or she doesn’t know if something is true, or if it might by wrong, or if  it’s to express an opinion in the guise of news. It’s a favorite for foreign correspondents, who reply on local newspapers or interpreters. “Appears” can also be accurate, when it means that someone or something showed up or stepped out, and by… Read Article →

Teasers and Clickbait

TV news is a specialist in teasers. Such as: “Flood destroys the downtown of a major American city. Upcoming.”  Stay tuned and you’ll eventually learn that the basements of two buildings making up the main street in East Overshoe, Nebraska, got some water damage. But the real experts at teasers are online news sites, where they are called clickbait, which is a bit more polite than saying suckerbait. AOL News loves them. Here’s one on Nov…. Read Article →

Swedish papers’ coverage

StatusPhoto / VideoLife Event Drag Link/Photos/Video HereDrop LinkDrop Photo/VideoDrop Photos What’s on your mind? Friends Post Well, this is not journalese, but journalism. Illustrating the importance of the election outside of the United States is the coverage in today’s (Nov. 10) two largest national morning dailies in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet. Each devoted about 36 tabloid-sized pages to news, analyses, commentary, details of votes, editorials, and just about… Read Article →

Biggest numbers best

A journalese rule is that the biggest possible number is the best number. For example, a political hack knows his statement,  “Thousands of Senator Blowhard supporters packed the hall,” will be run uncritically  by a sympathetic editor  who won’t bother to check out that the hall capacity is 100 at the most. Another example is the police propencity to break down their seizures into the smallest units. Thus, seizing 5000 bullets will get far… Read Article →