Crickets and rumors.

When does a slang expression become journalese? Guess the answer is whenever reporters and editors start using it regularly. The word “crickets” is a great example. It’s popping up all over the place. What brings this on is a jump-head in a Boston Globe story Aug. 16, 2018, about Amazon’s search for a second headquarters site. Boston is in the bidding war. Here’s the jump-head: “After bust of HQ2 fanfare, Amazon delivers crickets.” Which means Amazon says nothing. In case you wonder where the “crickets” term originated (I had to look it up) it’s the only sound you hear when there’s nothing else to hear (originally popularized in films). The Globe story is so empty of details from Amazon it even reports rumors: “Or the persistent rumor — most recently given life by a story this month in The New York Times — that the public release of a shorter list of finalist cities for the project is imminent. It is not, an Amazon spokesman says.”

File under: Crickets and rumors that fit as news.

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