Sad news: AP jargon gets the shove

(This appeared on an earlier blog.)

As a former daily-newspaper journalist (and for a brief time many years ago, a proud writer for The Associated Press) I am heartsick to hear of the death of some longtime terms of the trade.  Why would the venerable wire service’s management choose to say “keyword” instead of “slug” or “correct” instead of “cq” or “instead of” rather than the time-honored “sted.” And it gets worse…)

New York (AP) – Subs Lede, the veteran overseer of Associated Press wire-service jargon, died last night in New York City after plunging from an office building at 450 West 33rd St.  He was 90.

A statement released to media outlets this morning by the New York City Police Department’s Tradition Protective Unit (TPU) said that the fall appears to have been the result of a deliberate push by an editor or group of editors working in the building.  No suspects have been named, but one source close to the investigation said that TPU is “looking for a gang of youthful offenders armed with higher degrees.”

Mr. Lede was well known for his years in the front lines, where he fought alongside his stalwart partner, Recasts Hed, who at this writing is also near death from an accident last week. Police will not comment on whether the incidents are related.

Mr. Lede took countless newcomers under his wing in the field and the newsroom, training such legendary figures as Previous Cycle and the controversial Note Contents.

In 1978, he shared the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News with colleagues Fixes Typos and Will B. Led. The trio covered the tragic collision between a Simile and a Metaphor in airspace over the city. Following the crash, commas and semicolons rained down for a 48-hour period. The prize-winning news stories resulted in parentheses being added to unclear phrases throughout the United States.

Mr. Lede was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, New Throughout; a sister, Adds Graphic-Slug; and a nephew, Adds Byline.

At. Mr. Lede’s request, no funeral service will be held. Donations may be made to the Foundation for Updates with Color.

–Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett

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