Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ledes - useless verbiage

As I'm sitting here compiling some examples for class, and since the Pluto story still has legs, I am prompted to note this little recent piece of "hair on a melon" (in other words useless) lede. Another attempt to be cute and conversational gone awry.

Call it a mugging in the Milky Way.

In a stunning reversal, astronomers who last week were ready to expand the solar system's number of planets by three voted Thursday to shrink it instead, stripping Pluto of its status.
Even allowing for the slightly overwrought "mugging," the Milky Way reference implies far greater import than it has. We're just one speck of a solar system in the galaxy's outer reaches. Maybe a "kicking in the Kuiper Belt" is more appropriate? Nah.

In fact, one could debate whether this is a "stunning reversal" -- scientists have been known to do such things as they consider evidence, debate, and maybe even have a few beers.

I'd argue that this is a nice lede that gets right to the point and doesn't try to be cloyingly cute: Astronomers who last week were ready to expand the solar system's number of planets by three voted Thursday to shrink it instead, stripping Pluto of its status. (27 words)


I'd read it. Would you?

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home