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Marion Street Press - Practical Books for Writers and Journalists

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Journalese cover
The Handy and Hilarious Media-to-English Translator


A Dictionary for Deciphering the News

By Paul Dickson and Robert Skole

$14.95 • Trade Paper • ISBN 9781936863129

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Good editors keep trying to kill clichés, but clichés outlive editors. So Paul Dickson and Robert Skole have given clichés a good look—up close and personal, as a cliché clod might say. Journalese isn’t a laff-a-minute book: it’s a smile-every-30-seconds book. I’m Mervin Block, and I approve this book—heartily. —Mervin Block, author or Writing Broadcast News

Never has the deciphering of newspeak into plain English been so hilarious. Journalese shows how the power of original phrasing fuels great reporting. To mimic Dickson and Skole, the ‘deep translation’ of ‘a must-read for reporters’ is ‘Listen up, journalists, your trite, impersonal, clichés have got to go.’ —Suzette Martinez Standring, award-winning author of The Art of Column Writing

Journalese is a handy guide to the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly of that special language that most of us read and hear every day. The authors’ insights will change the way you interpret the news. —Richard Lederer, author of Lederer on Language

I always knew Ambrose Bierce was the pseudonym of Paul Dickson and Robert Skole … and I enjoyed Journalese just as much as The Devil’s Dictionary. —Lewis Burke Frumkes, author of Favorite Words of Famous People and Metapunctuation

A comprehensive A-to-Z dictionary of journalistic buzzwords and phrases, this witty book is both a handy reference and a humorous look at the true absurdity of journalists’ tired quips and clichés. With an irreverent tone, the authors present hundreds of entries, the majority of which are accompanied by real-world examples and well-phrased criticisms, on topics such as incendiary leads, double entendres, media shoptalk, teasers, hidden agendas, and tabloid-TV excesses. A go-to resource for journalists, students, and word lovers, this book is a vanguard for identifying the misled word-based methods employed by modern media outlets.