Monthly Archives: February 2017

A tsunami of opinion, guesswork

Foreign reporting offers an unlimited, unrestricted playing field for speculation, opinion, crystal ball gazing, guesswork, conjecture — all offered in the guise of straight news. The New York Times, because of its extensive correspondent network, is a master at this. One story, datelined Beirut, Feb 2, 2017, in an example of a flood, a tidal wave, an avalanche of this type of reporting, featuring such journalese as might, may, seem,… Read Article →

At the helm

A company can be headquartered in the middle of a desert, with the only water in sight being in a swimming pool, but its CEO is inevitably at its helm. This exciting journalese is rarely used when the company sails on the rocks, faces a shareholder mutiny, washes down the scuppers, or just plain sinks. Nor is a poor performing company explained by the fact that the CEO doesn’t know… Read Article →

Swaths keep growing

Swath is a popular journalese description of an area the reporter can’t describe in specific dimensions or length, or in the classic comparative: “the size of Rhode Island.” A swath is definitely not what the American Heritage Dictionary says it is: “1.The width of a scythe stroke or a mowing-machine blade 2. A path of this width in mowing. 3. Something likened to a swath.” The media is continuously finding… Read Article →