Sunday, January 01, 2006

Gratuitous nonsense

High unemployment.
Expensive gasoline.
Rising utility costs.
Increasing health insurance bills.
How much more can the average South Carolinian take?

Not much more with leads like that gratuitous "ugh."
Aside from the offense taken in some quarters as a belittling of Native Americans, the word is just plain useless. After listing the first four things, do I as a reader need to be beaten over the head that this is bad?

Last time I checked, reporters and editors don't get paid by the word, so drop this one.

The gratuitous lede seems to be cropping up more these days as journalists mistake it for true well-told anecdote (someone's been sniffing the glue in the Northwestern readership studies a little tooooo much). Future episodes to come on this blog from recent examples, including one about a congressman that started something like "If he were Monty Hall ...


At 1/3/06, 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gratuitous is the correct spelling

At 1/3/06, 10:58 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Hey, two out of three correct ain't bad. Seriously, thanks for noticing the extra "i" in the last one. I threw an extra "f" into sniffing, too. Apparently I thought I was being paid by the letter.


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