Beancounters' hack in bid to probe scribe word secrets

During an idle moment on a press tour UK political correspondent for financial news agency Bloomberg Robert Hutton revealed on Twitter that he and fellow journalists were compiling a list of words which would qualify as a ‘journalese’.
The result snowballed into a book published this week called: Romps, Tots and Boffins…the Strange Language of News.
For readers, it promises to explain what journalists really mean. And for journalists, it also provides a guide to some of the hackneyed, arcane and clichéd phrases that are probably best avoided.
Here are a few of Axegrinder’s favourites from the first category:
By Our Foreign Staff: a little newspaper joke. Of course we don’t have a foreign staff any more. We can barely cover Kent. We lifted this from the newswires.

Journalism’s Oscars: Used of any award a paper has won. Actors rarely describe the Oscars as ‘Hollywood’s British Press Awards’.

Wide-ranging interview: They talked a lot but didn’t say much, and now we can’t decide what the story is.

Writer and broadcaster: Unemployed journalist for whom a £75 cheque is sufficient incentive to come in on Saturday night and do a paper review on 24-hour news.

All grown up: This caption, about how a 13-year-old actress is wearing a nice dress, was written by Weird Keith, the member of staff we suspect of keeping his mother’s corpse in his basement.
And from the latter:
Brave: when used to mean ‘very ill’
Eaterie: What is wrong with you? Why would you even think of using a word like this?
Miss for female teachers, and Sirs
And finally, here are some ‘reading through the lines’ translations:
Confirmed bachelor: he’s gay
Eccentric: mad
Flamboyant: He’s gay
Fun-loving: She puts herself about a bit
He never married: He was gay
Ladies’ man: They never managed to get the sexual assault charges to stick.
Well-turned-out: He’s gay



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