Poised is one of our favorite journalese words. It’s rarely used in everyday conversation, but is great in headlines. Much shorter and punchier than “getting ready to…,” or “preparing to….” What brings this up is a headline of a New York Times story, June 10, 2018: “Trumps aides seen as poised to jump ship.” This is double journalese, since it also has the usual Times speculation, “seen as…” Of course the story doesn’t name any of those poised to “jump ship.”
Recent stories out of Washington say that Trumps aides are not finding well-paying top jobs, which presidential aides usually get. The headline would be more accurate if it said, “Trump’s aides seen as poised to walk the plank.”
File under: Crystal balls as news sources.