Category Archives: Uncategorized

Touting touts

The Boston Globe is on a touts kick. It has used tout, mainly in headlines, 519 times the past year, and is now touting at the rate of 10 touts a week. Well, tout is short, handy headline word, but I wonder how many Globe readers know that it has a very sleazy ring to it. Which may make it perfect for a headline in the Globe today (April 26,… Read Article →

Publishing the other F-word

The Boston Globe and the Washington Post have committed the media unthinkable: They called a flack — journalists’ uncomplimentary moniker for a politician’s or company’s public relations hustler — a flack. In print! As we noted in our Journalese Dictionary definition of flack: “Never used in a story, however. Disrespecting a flack in print or on the air doesn’t win drinks at the press club bar.” The journalism law-busting usage… Read Article →

No editors, no milkmen.

Once upon a time, newspapers were edited so the average reader — known in the trade as “the Kansas City milkman” — could understand a news story. Today, newspapers are not edited for the milkman since there are no editors and no milkmen. Thus, we get sentences like this one in a Boston Globe, Feb. 16, 2022 story about the pandemic’s effects on consumer spending: “It’s an example of cognitive… Read Article →

Stop the presses! Globe scoop!

The Boston Globe today, Jan 26, 2022, revealed that wind turbines do not produce electric power when there’s no wind or too much wind. Until now, the Globe’s strict reporting rule required stories to report how much power turbines will produce, and how many thousands of homes for which they’ll provide electricity, but never, ever mention that the production figures are from developers and are impossible to attain. But now,… Read Article →

Him and her write for Boston Globe

Yeah, I know. College kids today say such stuff: “Him and me are going to the library….” But when such grammar gets printed in The Boston Globe, it’s time to wonder. Example in a Jan. 24, 2022, story about Massachusetts secretary of state William Galvin’s announcement he’ll run for an eighth four-year term: “With the completion of this term, no secretary of state in Massachusetts history will have served longer… Read Article →

Planned churnalese

Churnalese is the stuff reporters and editors churn out when they copy press releases, with no checking or editing. Great example of this was in a Boston Globe story, Jan. 9 , 2022, about a construction project that’s been underway for four years in Boston’s Bulfinch District in the city’s West End. It involves demolishing a parking garage and building high-rises on the site. One high-rise is complete, a second… Read Article →

The wise guys speak

When a reporter quotes someone anonymously, or uses the source for information, it would be obvious to most everyone that the source knows what he or she is talking about. After all, a reporter wouldn’t base a story on someone who is dumb as a sack of rocks and had absolutely no idea of what the hell is going on. But to make absolutely sure that the source is trustworthy,… Read Article →

How many are many?

A favorite word that lazy reporters get away with is “many.” Back in my years at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, any student using it would get an F and a dope slap. He or she would not use “many” again. The New York Times loves the word. So does the Boston Globe. There are no editors who ask reporters or headline writers, “How many?” What brings this… Read Article →

Decry this.

Did you ever hear anyone say, “The mayor decried the councillor’s comments.” Or, “The driver decried to cop who ticketed him.” That’s right, never. Decry is classic journalese, used only by the media. What brings this up are three decry headlines in one Boston Globe issue, Oct. 5, 2021. Here they are, with the first the page one top story: “Biden decries GOP over vote on debt limit.” “Disparity in… Read Article →

At the White House?

Another illustration of sloppy — or non-existant — copy editing: A cutline of a photo illustrating a Boston Globe story, July 13, 2021: “President Biden hosted a meeting about reducing gun violence in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Monday.” And you thought firings stopped in the Roosevelt Room when Trump left office. But wait, there’s more, on July 8, the Globe ran a photo of a man… Read Article →