Friday, September 30, 2005


OK, I'm fond of reminding students and seminars that my newspapers and magazines do not come with a decoder ring or user guide.

But Variety, in its own wisdom, does. If you haven't, check out its slanguage guide, a compendium of the short, snippy, sometimes irreverent terms it has come to popularize and that, unfortunately, too often have made their way into journalese.

It helps to decode things like this most famous headline: Hicks nix stix pix

And note that "hike" -- as in to increase -- is listed in this guide as slanguage. AP, of course, says to avoid that use. It's well-reasoned advice unfortunately too-often ignored.


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