Scoring a triple: nonprofit, tap, and the yellow fruit law.

The Boston Herald scored a triple journalese — nonprofit, tap, and “Law of the curved yellow fruit” — April 19, 2017, in the lede of story about a contract awarded by the Greenway Conservancy: “The nonprofit that oversees the city’s Rose Kennedy Greenway has tapped Trillium Brewing to operate an outdoor beer garden on the downtown green space, with plans to open this summer.”

Nonprofit, according to our definition: “An organization that pays no taxes, often receives taxpayer funds, and is supposed to be doing things that the reporters and editors approve of. The designaton never includes the fact that the nonprofit’s top executives are paid outrageously high salaries, usually far more than the reporter or editor could dream of.” Well, not in this story, but the Herald has revealed that the Greenway executive director is paid over $200,000 a year to run the 13-acre center strip over the tunnel created by the Big Dig. That’s more than the Governor or Mayor are paid.

Tap: A rarely-violated law of journalese requires that headlines or text use the verb “tap” in stories about saloon contracts, licenses, management promotions, or hirings. I’m waiting for a selected saloon to close, so I can see the headline: “Taps for tapped saloon.”

Law of curved yellow fruit: This prohibits use of the same noun or name in one sentence. The law’s origin was the sentence, “The banana longshoremen demanded higher pay for each load of the curved yellow fruit they carried.” Thus, the Herald followed the law, and the Greenway became the “downtown green space.”

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