For All Intensive Porpoises, I’m Burying The Lead

Posted: December 18, 2013 in Self-publishing
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was recently dragged flailing and muttering into my forties. Since I’ve officially been around awhile and done a bit of reading and writing, it surprises me when I come across a seemingly common word or phrase that I’m not familiar with. Just the other day, I read an article about the passing of Peter O’Toole that included the word “louche” in the headline. I initially assumed the author had some sort of beef with Mr. O’Toole, and had merely committed a typo that his editor missed. Turns out louche is a real word, and a good one. I like to think I’ve heard it at some point in my life, then forgot it. I’m 40 now, remember? I barely do.

Somehow, I managed to trudge through almost 40 years on this relatively smooth, watery rock without seeing the phrase “bury the lede” in print. I’d heard it in context a million times, and I assumed it was “bury the lead.” A few months ago (and several times since—funny how it works that way), I saw the phrase in print with the final word spelled “lede.” I figured it was a an “olde” English spelling of the word, and I dusted off the tattered Oxford dictionary perched on my bookshelf. Nowhere to be found. Naturally, this blew my little mind.

Enter the Internet.

I looked the phrase up, and found that “lede” and “lead” are essentially interchangeable in this case. In an odd way, I was a little disappointed. Lede, in all its four-letter glory, just looks cool on the page. When I’m in editing mode with my own work, I’ve been known to swap a word for one of its buddies in the thesaurus based solely on looks. I suppose that makes me shallow, but I guess it’s better than being obsessive. Wait. Maybe it is obsessive. Damn it, just blew my little mind again.

In any event, I wish the Internet had been around when I was thumbing through “TV Guide” as a kid and found the listing for “To Be Announced.” Growing up, I thought it was some kind of omnipresent religious program popular enough to air on many different channels dozens of times a week. Turns out I missed out on a ton of playoff football and assorted “extravaganzas.” Oh, well. Live and learn.

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