Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 7 12:40:12 UTC 2012

I thought of this, but even "stage-managed" seems a little too strong:

"Stories were stage-managed. For example, journalists were invited...."

To me, to "stage-manage" the landing for the press would rule out fake
tanks, but it would imply, say, specially impressive but unnecessary
activity where the journalists would be sure to see it. It implies
manipulation of the actual story ("event") rather than the way the event
will be reported, which is clearly what the writer wants to say.

In this particular case, the whole idea seems to be confused. What is meant
is something like,

"In various ways, journalists were encouraged by the military to report
stories in the most favorable light."

But either way, "staged" and "stage-managed" are not usually synonymous.

My 2011 post showed a blurring between "staged" and "posed."  As indicated
there, the claim that the Iwo Jima photo was either "posed" or "staged" or
 for the camera is simply false.  (It irritates me because that
quasi-conspiratorial claim has been frequently repeated and accepted as


On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:36 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Baker, John" <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "staged"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> My guess is that "staged" here is a mistake for, or used as a shortened
> form of, "stage-managed" (AHD:  to direct or manipulate from behind the
> scenes, as to achieve a desired effect; orchestrate), implying that the
> correspondents' reports were meant to be seen as independent writings, but
> were in reality set up to say exactly what MacArthur wanted them to say.
>  If this is correct, there would be no implication that the Inchon landing
> was less than bona fide, only that the four correspondents' accounts of it
> were untrustworthy.
> John Baker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Jonathan Lighter
> Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2012 6:05 PM
> Subject: Re: "staged"
> I raised the issue of the meaning of "staged" last year. Here is another
> case.
> According to The Korean War: An Encyclopedia_ (Garland, 1995, p. 270): "As
> the war continued to worsen for the U.N. forces the Army desired...to
> control what was reported. The military staged some stories. At the Inchon
> landing, MacArthur invited four correspondents as his personal guests...to
> relay the military's official version of the landing."
> What the...?  To me this can *only* mean that the Inchon landing was
> planned and carried out solely for the benefit of the four correspondents,
> with the additional likelihood (like the "staged" Moon landing) that what
> was happening was not entirely real (maybe fake tanks were used) or the
> whole operation was designed entirely to deceive.
> What the writer means to say, however, must be that "The military
> carefully managed the news it released to the press."
> Very different, if you ask me.
> So what's the deal with "staged"?
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list