Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Forbidden ledes

Ledes of the form Dead That's What* are forbidden under all circumstances anyway. Their evil nature is underscored when a pronoun like "me" is left flapping the breeze with nothing but the byline to refer back to.

I suspect that the motive, once again, is the morbid fear of writing a first-cycle lede in an always-on world. That's generally overblown as it is; readers aren't nearly as attentive to news as such an assumption would require. And when the cure is worse than the imaginary disease, we might as well be leeching to cure a case of witch-possession. Stop it.

* From Thurber's "Dead. That's what the man was when they found him."


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

If you're going to do this, at least put it in quotes!

But what's wrong with: What Rodney Burrell told the judge was this:

12:44 PM, November 30, 2010  

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