Honorable headlinese

Fete. That’s a wonderful headline verb, meaning, according to our American Heritage Dictionary, to honor or celebrate with a festival or to pay honor to. Our own dictionary definition: “Handy in headlines for a bash. When someone is feted, he or she is honored.” What brings this up is a headline in the Boston Herald, May 26, 2018: “Radcliffe fetes Hillary Clinton.”

Being journalese, the word is never spoken. which is good. Most Americans wouldn’t know how to pronounce it properly, since it’s French and contains one of those accent marks you’ve forgotten from high school.

File under: Silence cures mispronunciation.


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