More broadcast journalism

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue May 4 14:43:20 UTC 2010

At 5/4/2010 01:57 AM, Mark Mandel wrote:


Nearly, but I'm looking for something perhaps less slangy and more
academic.  The practice I'm repelled by is the choice of words to add
an emotional overtone to a statement so as to bias the reader's
reaction. For a quick example in the absence of better ones,
"So-and-so's irrational decision to whatever ...".

The OED tells me "loaded" = charged, burdened, laden, etc.  Perhaps
"emotionally charged language" (Jon's "loaded diction" is perhaps a
bit abstruse for historians, but "innuendo" might work in a
well-constructed phrase.)  Another sense is "1. d. fig. Charged with
some hidden implication or underlying suggestion; biased,
prejudiced", but biased and prejudiced didn't seem quite what I wanted.

(My first reading of ""Loaded diction" is what we called it in
freshman comp." was "freshman camp"!  I thought to myself, my Jon
started early.)


>m a m
>On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 7:14 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> > I've just read an historian who does the same thing.  What is (are)
> > the best adjective(s) to describe this kind of writing and
> > speech?  (I want serious, scholarly ones, not the snarky.)
> >
> > Joel
> >
> > At 5/3/2010 05:47 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > >It took two by-lined AP journalists to write the following [
> > >
> > ]:
> > >
> > >"The surveillance video, made public late Sunday, shows the man slipping
> > >down Shubert Alley and taking off his shirt, revealing another underneath.
> > >In the same clip, [he] looks back in the direction of the smoking vehicle
> > >and furtively puts the first shirt in a bag."
> > >
> > >I've watched the video several times, and simple accuracy demands
> > >"...walking down Shubert Alley" and "looks behind him and places the first
> > >shirt in the bag."
> > >
> > >At least the article cites Mayor Bloomberg (for balance):  "'He may or may
> > >not have been involved,' he said, adding it was a hot day and he might
> > >simply have been trying to cool off."
> > >
> > >Whether or not the guy turns out to have been involved, the only possible
> > >reason to write "slipping," "furtively," and "in the direction of the
> > >smoking vehicle" is to make his actions - in this clip -  seem especially
> > >suspicious.
> > >
> >
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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