A New York Times review of a Showtime documentary, “American Jihad,” writes that the film “examines several of the relatively few instances of jihad-inspired terrorism in the United States.” Ira Stoll, media critic of Algemeiner.com, on Mar. 28, 2017, comments (and I love his conclusion): “Relatively few? “The phrase stopped me in my tracks. “The 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The 1994 murder of Ari Halberstam on the Brooklyn Bridge…. Read Article →
Monthly Archives: March 2017
Health care debate.
This is not journalese, but a great reply to Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, who called for replacing Obamacare with “a competitive market focused on the interests of consumers,” “price transparency,” and having providers and insurers “compete in earnest” (“Kill Obamacare, and don’t stop at that,” Opinion, March 19). Globe letter writer Jim Mesthene of Waltham, MA, nailed it on Mar. 25, 2017, with this one sentence, headlined “Free-market pipe… Read Article →
Health care debate.
This is not journalese, but a great reply to Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, who called for replacing Obamacare with “a competitive market focused on the interests of consumers,” “price transparency,” and having providers and insurers “compete in earnest” (“Kill Obamacare, and don’t stop at that,” Opinion, March 19). Globe letter writer Jim Mesthene of Waltham, nailed it on Mar. 25, 2017, with this one sentence, headlined “Free-market pipe dream”:… Read Article →
American reporters and editors love to claim foreign nations are “tiny,” no matter how large they are. Take this cover story headline in Boston Globe Magazine, Mar. 19, 2017, for example: “Portugal takes off — Why this tiny country is the place to visit in 2017.” Well, how tiny is Portugal? Compared to other European nations, it is in the middle, in between Hungary and Austria, and as large as… Read Article →
What’s going on in Rhode Island?
Not journalese, but another illustration that copy editors no longer exist. Here’s the lede sentence in a story in the Boston Globe’s “Police Blotter” column, Mar. 17, 2017: “Teacher arrested. A longtime special education teacher in Massachusetts and Rhode Island was charged Thursday with possession of child pornography by Rhode Island authorities, after they searched the teacher’s West Warwick home, Rhode Island State Police said.” Shouldn’t those Rhode Island authorities… Read Article →
Oh, That Mayor Martin J. Walsh!
An op-ed in the Boston Globe, Mar. 14, 2017, headlined, ” GOP health care bill would hurt Mass. middle class”, is by Martin J. Walsh and Kate Walsh. They are identified at the end of the piece: “Martin J. Walsh is the mayor of Boston. Kate Walsh is the president and CEO of Boston Medical Center.” One might wonder how many Globe readers don’t know that Martin J. Walsh is… Read Article →
There’s a TV news rule that requires teasers to include the exact number of people that may be affected by a storm, forest fire, earthquake or other catastrophe. For example, an ABC news teaser on Mar. 12, 2017, reported that an upcoming snowstorm “has 60 million Americans in its path.” Where the excited anchor got this precise figure is never disclosed. Did the news staff add up all the populations… Read Article →
The size of Rhode Island
Our dictionary defines Rhode Island as a “unit of geographic measurement, especially for forest fires, oil spills, droughts or other devastation over a huge area.” The Associated Press, in a Mar. 12, 2017, story out of Anchorage, Alaska, about an Eskimo village expanding its reindeer meat business, has a slightly different usage for Rhode Island. The Eskimos live on the “tundra-covered” island of Nunivak, off the Alaska coast, in the… Read Article →
Codfather becomes a mogul
Mogul is classic journalese, a term only used by reporters. How many times, for example, have you heard anyone say, “Yes, Joe Moneybags is a real mogul.” The dictionary definition, with small m: “1) A very rich or powerful person: a movie mogul. 2. A kind of heavy steam locomotive.” The Boston Globe, Mar. 10, 2017, had this wonderful mogul usage, as well as a terrific nickname: “A commercial fishing… Read Article →
This one is not journalese, but another illustration of the absence of copy editors. Here’s the lede of a Washington Post story, Mar. 8, 2017: “Marines from an amphibious task force have left their ships in the Middle East and deployed to Syria, establishing an outpost from which they can fire artillery guns in support of the fight to take back the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, defense… Read Article →