Saturday, March 06, 2004


Will someone, anyone, make sure that everyone who blogs knows that a lead article in a newpaper is just that, a lead, not a LEDE? I don't know who started using it, but Josh Marshall uses it all the time and now Jo Fish has picked it up! LEAD, LEAD! Not lede. Cripes! "Lede" is not a newspaper term, it's fake Latin intended to look pretentious.

Useful dictionary of newspaper jargon here.

UPDATE: Sullywatch argues that it's a printer's term used to indicate the difference between "lead" as in lead story, and "lead" - pronounced led - which is the term used in printing for line spacing, from the old days when type was indeed cast in hot lead. This may well be true, but if so it's not in the dictionary or in any dictionary I've found of newspaper terms - which use "lead" (leed) and "lead" (led) as the spellings for the two terms. I suspect it's a misspelling that got picked up by people because it looks like a Latin term. If anyone can find a dictionary or list of printer's terms that uses "lede," let me know and I'll mention it here and then go hide.


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