Monthly Archives: October 2018

Every gangster a maffia boss

A journalese law in Sweden requires that every leading American gangster be identified as a “maffia boss.” This law was dutifully followed by Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s largest morning daily, on Oct 31, 2018, in a story about Boston murderer and FBI snitch James “Whitey” Bulger. Headline: “Maffiabossen ‘Whitey’ Bulger död i fängelse” (Maffia boss Whitey Bulger dead in prison). The story quotes the Boston Globe, and the text again identifies… Read Article →

Misrepresented? And how!

“Misrepresented” is journalese for “Boy! Did we screw up!” And blaming it on an “editorial error” is pure fantasy since newspapers no longer have copy editors who do any editing. Here’s a beautiful example in a correction in the Boston Globe, Oct. 24, 2018: “Because of an editing error, a caption in This Day in History in the Boston Sunday Globe misrepresented the history of the USS Constitution. The vessel… Read Article →

Fired, hired and we didn’t predict it

What would we do without journalese? We ask that question in our introduction to our dictionary. This question is illustrated by The Boston Globe’s page one top story, Sept. 2, 2018, with a headline that uses three classic journalese terms: oust, tap and stunning: “GE ousts chief executive after 14 months “In stunning move, conglomerate taps outsider in effort to reverse slide, restore investors’ faith”