Monday, May 18, 2009


Lede: The story of lede starts with lead with its multiple meanings and pronunciations. Consider:
The cheer leaders, with their big smiles and shorts skirts, lead the band when it marches onto the field.
Also consider:
Colonel Mustard did it with a lead pipe in the study.
In Journalism, the beginning of a news story is the lead (as in lead the band), and some thin metal strips, once used to separate lines of type by typesetters are called leads (as in lead pipe). Evidently, Journalism Professors felt that this single confusion, out of the multitude of English homografts, needed to be addressed. Lede, an obsolete and obscure alternate spelling of lead (as in lead the band) was conscripted for lead news stories, now lede news stories.
Another [newspaper], its readership mostly supernaturalists, engaged in what journalists call burying the lede: NEW PSYCHIC IN HARLEM!

The drive was worth it because it gave me just the lede I needed. "TUNICA, Miss. - Driving south on Highway 61 from Memphis, visitors are greeted by ubiquitous cotton fields, ramshackle farmhouses, corrugated shacks, and an incongruous parade of billboards.

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