Monday, March 16, 2015

Nouning weirds language

By the standards of the redtops, this wouldn't even count as a particularly interesting noun pile, except for -- you know, the noun. And even that is pretty straightforward: A confession becomes a "fess" in the same way a slaying becomes a "slay." The only odd part -- unless the Post is now in the habit of complaining about Those Kids using their 'phones on the crosstown 'bus -- is the apostrophe that marks the clipping in 'fess.
The inside hed also helps you infer a few things about tabloid attribution practice. The quote in the story is "What the hell did I do? . . . Killed them all of course," so the more fastidious version leaves "I" out of the quote. And the standard Old Editor response to a televised admission is that it's a confession when it's admitted in court, not when it's given to some goober with a microphone -- hence the second pair of quotes around "confession." Maybe libel lawyers know better than to think anyone believes the front page anyway?

As for why a distant slay (even one attributed to "bizarre real estate heir and longtime murder suspect Robert Durst") is jostling for frontpage space with basketball, while the usurper is still plotting to give away the nuclear candy store and the Hildebeest* is frantically subverting justice -- well, that's why we have tabloids, innit?

* Almost certainly not coined by either of the Obamas, in case you're scoring along at home. Consider the source.

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