Skip to comments.My 'shameful secret’: I’ve learnt to love clichéd journalese
Posted on 09/06/2013 4:09:33 AM PDT by don-o
The lazy and glib language used by reporters in British newspapers changes how you see the world once you understand it
Where is everyone in a lab coat a boffin? Where is bubbly either guzzled or glugged? Where do drunken yobs go on booze-fuelled rampages? You know the answer: in Britains newspapers. Just under a year ago, a late-night comment on Twitter led me to become an accidental collector of journalese, the language of reporters. Its a world in which unnamed backbench MPs are always senior, where any adjustment of policy is a humiliating U-turn. Where the police launch probes, presumably with Nasas help. Where two people who disagree clash, typically after one of them has slammed the other.
Journalese has become my obsession. Every time I note an example, people send me 10 more. Its everywhere, and once you understand it, it changes how you see the world. Last week, I turned on the radio to learn that momentum is building for an attack on Syria. To a non-speaker of journalese, that might sound exciting. I knew the real meaning: the story hasnt changed since last night.
I can tell you all the things that are wrong with journalese: its clichéd; lazy writing betrays lazy thought; good stories dont need it; its a code. And there are phrases I hate: tragic tot is an awful, glib way to write about a dead child, and its use should be a criminal offence
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
“It has emerged...” is one of my favorites. No details on who said it.
If this guy loves Brit “journalese” he should check out Variety, the Hollywood Show Biz newspaper. They’ve got a lingo all their own and I myself have always found it most amusing.
My favorite is, “unexpected” meaning something that doesn’t produce thrills up and down the legs of the liberal media.
P.G. Wodehouse wrote a story alomst a decade ago joking about the American version of this. In his story, the headline was “Sugar Daddy Stung in Love Nest”. (It was NOT a Jeeves and Wooster story) Looks like we exported the style to the Brits and they improved upon it. The New York Post is the best regular U.S. paper for using this kind of colorful language.
I wonder if famed British hack writer `Lunchtime O’Booze’ is still coaxing hackneyed phrases from his battered typewriter for the readers of “Private Eye”?
All the experts agree that oceanic waters are either “icy” or “shark-infested.” All winters are “brutal.”
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